Games On

At these sports events, the crowd always goes wild

KEY WEST, FLORIDA
Acura Key West 2008
[January 21–25]
A five-day, ten-race sailing bonanza that averages 260 boats and 3,000 sailors. What You're Drinking Painkillers. "I'm on the List" Pay $75 to hop on the 125-foot Liberty Clipper, a luxe yacht that follows the racecourse and offers prime viewing and entertainment. Blend in by wearing a purple knit polo (collar popped), pleated khaki shorts, and Sperry Top-Siders (no socks). Sure Bet The onshore party tent, called the Big Top, is in Old Town Key West. Mingle with international sailing competitors and industry execs while sipping cocktails and watching replays from the day's races. Or head to Sloppy Joe's bar, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. premiere-racing.com

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA
U.S. Open of Surfing
[July 19–27]
The best high-stakes surfing and bikini watching in the continental U.S. What You're Drinking Tequila. "I'm on the List" The Saturday night after finals, the winning surfer hosts a private party. Last year's champ, C.J. Hobgood, had a barbecue at a rented house in Huntington Beach. Let's hope he wins again. For an invite, buy a lot of cool stuff at the Goods Surf and Skate shop, in Indialantic, Florida, co-owned by Hobgood. Sure Bet Duke's Huntington Beach, for a surfside view of the break and buckets of ice-cold Corona. usopenofsurfing.com

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
The Kentucky Derby
[May 3]
A 133-year-old tradition featuring high-society women in funny hats—and a few very fast thoroughbreds. What You're Drinking Mint juleps. "I'm on the List" Doublemint Gum Twins Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable host the annual Barnstable Brown Gala at Patricia's estate, on Spring Drive. Donate $50,000 and odds are good that you'll get in. Sure Bet Join more than 1.5 million people at the Derby Festival, a two-week countdown to the races that starts with a fireworks display over the Ohio River and ends with a massive parade. kentuckyderby.com

ASPEN, COLORADO
Winter X Games
[January 24–27]
Four days of sheer mountain madness, especially in halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and boarding. What You're Drinking Red Bull and vodka, in no particular order. "I'm on the List" Every night, sponsor Target hosts a VIP party with a TBD famous DJ at the slopeside Target Chalet at Aspen Highlands. Past freebies have included iPods, digital cameras, and flat-screen TVs. Sponsored riders Shaun White and Simon Dumont create the 75-person guest list each day. Sure Bet Eric's Bar, on East Hyman street. expn.com

IOWA
RAGBRAI
[July 20–26]
A mesmerizing tour of Iowa pavement as you cycle an average of 471 miles across corn fields. What You're Drinking "The Champagne of Beers" from a plastic cup. "I'm on the List" Last year, Lance Armstrong hosted a private reception and concert for cancer fundraisers at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls. He'll likely do the same this year. To get in, donate a recognizable sum to the LiveStrong Foundation—and don't forget your yellow bracelet. Sure Bet The support vehicles—colorfully painted converted school buses—are party machines. Some have decks, full bars, and hot tubs. ragbrai.org

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