Monday, 31 August 2015

Mauritius Race Day

Close to down town in Port Louis is the Mauritius Turf Club, the second oldest horse racing course in the world.  We're not big racing fans, but a day at the races was recommended and sounded like fun.  With crew from three other boats we dressed up (somewhat) and headed for the track.

The day was fine and sunny, the track was fast and the racing was impressive.  With a population of just over a million people, Mauritius takes it's horse racing very seriously.  Well dressed club members (suits for the men of course) and their beautifully presented partners created a major fashion scene, and the "people watching" in the mounting yard and members area was spirited - not to mention the horses.

The club celebrates its history, and retains old fashioned values that charmed us completely.  Most impressive was a private box (or "cabin") inside the members grand stand provided on a complimentary basis to foreign visitors.  What a delight !

We were very efficiently hosted by long serving staff member "Lalah", who arranged entry to the stand and cabin, and also provided access to the bar so we could order food and refreshments.  This was Mauritian hospitality at its very best.

At Lalah's assistance we then met with the club's General Manager, Benoit Halbwachs.

He continued the hospitality by arranging for us to watch one race from the photo finish booth, where radio and television broadcasters called the race live for local and foreign media.

Great racing, good food and wine, a marvelous day's entertainment.  No, we didn't win any money, losing only a little ...... however the hospitality was fantastic, and we strongly recommend a day at the races in Mauritius.  Contact details for the club are included in our Cruising Services Guide - download it here.  If you wish to take advantage of the club's hospitality do call Lalah in advance.

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