The tiny Caribbean island of Barbados has just hosted the 5th World Segway Polo Championships and local team “Flyin Fish” retained their title for the second year running.
Segway polo can best be described as cross between horse polo and hockey on a battery-powered scooter where the ball is hit with a small mallet. There are 4 chukka’s per game and five players in each team.
This year, Segway polo’s largest annual World Championship event, was played in Barbados. Teams from as far Germany, Sweden and the United States made the journey to this small Caribbean Island and eight teams, including two from Barbados, pitted their skills over the four - day tournament.
The full title of the event, is the Segway Polo Woz Challenge Cup, partly in honour of Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, who decided he wanted to do something more exciting on his new form of transport than just riding it around Silicon Valley.
The Lion Castle Polo Estate, set in rolling hills in the centre of the island was the stunning location for the finals, normally a venue use to horses thundering over the turf, but instead the crowd were treated to the battery powered Segway machines (personal transporters) which were limited to 12.5 mph.
Segways are becoming increasingly popular in many European and US cities because they offer an alternative and invigorating form of sightseeing, although they are expensive at around five to eight thousand US dollars per unit and therefore is unlikely to become a mass sport.
Anyone with a reasonable sense of balance can ride one, although George W. Bush, the former US President, famously fell off when he tried. But playing polo while riding them can prove much more challenging.
Each team played seven games and the top two went through to the final.
In a thrilling floodlit final the Bajan team “Flyin Fish” who were playing The Blade Pirates from Germany, out played their opponents and ran out winners by 3-1.