Among major upcoming sporting events: the Tour de France starts in the Netherlands before heading to Belgium and France, and the Wife Carrying World Championships offer a welcome diversion from FIFA World Cup antics.

The Arctic Open
June 24-26
Akureyri, Iceland

Held at the world's most northern golf course at the Akureyri Golf Club, this tournament is scheduled at a time of year when the sun hardly dips below the horizon - though round times are a little more restrained with tee-offs at 4pm. While the Club has links with travel agents in the USA and northern Europe, there are also more locally based travel agents happy to organize tours of the country's arresting scenery for those looking for a pre-tournament jaunt. Entry to the Arctic Open costs $385, including the opening reception and closing dinner.

Formula One: European Grand Prix
June 27, 2pm (BST+1)
Valencia, Spain

Nearly halfway through the 2010 Formula One calendar, the race at Valencia's Street Circuit could prove decisive in Mark Webber's quest to win the Championship. Grandstand passes start at €305 and rise to €715, covering practice and qualifying days as well as the race. or

Kirkpinar Wrestling Festival
June 25-27
Edirne, Turkey

The 649th Turkish Oil Wrestling Festival Week is centered around events in Sarayici Stadium, with competitors rubbed down and clad in leather chaps. Though the cultural festival runs from Monday 21, sporting events do not get underway until Friday 25, with finals on Sunday 27. An estimated 700 male competitors will take part across seven categories, and for Edirne it's the biggest tourist attraction of the year.

World Series of Poker
Until July 17
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Despite a panoply of WSOP-authorized tournaments throughout the year, this is the real deal, with a huge variety of poker rule sets in force for the world's best, luckiest, and most stubborn players to test their mettle against each other for a slice of the pie. The tournament culminates in the 12-day No-Limit Hold'em Championship starting on July 5, before a three-month break when the top nine players will reconvene in November for the Final Table.

FIFA World Cup 2010: Knockout stages
June 26 - July 11
South Africa

The knockout rounds begin in earnest on Saturday 26 June with four days to whittle the final 16 teams down to 8 quarter-finalists. The quarter-finals are on July 2 & 3, the semi-finals on July 6 & 7, third place play-off on July 10 and the final is in Johannesburg on Sunday July 11. Any remaining tickets range from $100 for Category 3 seating in the Round of 16 games up to $900 (€730) for Category 1 tickets at the final. Kick-off times are 4pm and 8.30pm South African Standard Time (UTC+2/BST+1), evening matches only from the semi-finals onwards.
Ticket availability:

The Championship - Wimbledon
June 21 - July 4
Wimbledon, UK

Though the ballot for public tickets closed in December 2009, and the majority of tickets therefore already allocated, the All England Lawn Tennis Club state that around 6,000 ground passes are available per day, and 500 for the Centre, No.1 and No.2 courts. Those who manage to snag a ground pass but not a seat gather on Aorangi Terrace, known as 'Henman Hill', to watch on a huge television screen placed adjacent to No. 1 Court and join the cheers and celebrations from there. Ticket payments are to be made in cash only: ground passes cost between £8 and £20 (€9.70-24.30), while court passes are between £34 and £85 (€41.30-103.25), depending on the day. Centre court tickets for the last four days of play (Jul 1-4) will not be available for purchase at the turnstiles.

Maryhill Festival of Speed
June 30 - July 4
Goldendale, Washington, USA

The first round in the International Gravity Sports Association's World Cup schedule, Maryhill hosts for only the fourth year but is already a top draw location for competitive downhill skateboarding and street luge.

Freediving Team World Championships
June 30 - July 10
Okinawa, Japan

Though Freediving is in the main a solo sport, AIDA's Team World Championships are an opportunity for solidarity through combined effort. There are events in static apnea (holding one's breath underwater) as well as submerged distance swimming over the 11-day championship. Entrance to events at the Okinawa General Playground pool is free of charge.

Goodwood Festival of Speed
July 2-4
Goodwood Estate, West Sussex, England

Billed by organizers as the "world's largest car event," the Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together cars of all types from all countries. From current Formula 1 racers and 200 mph supercars to steam-powered carriages of the 19th century, the event is part show, part race and a must-see event for car buffs. General admission for the entire weekend costs £107 (€130), one-day tickets are £40 (€50) on Saturday and Sunday.

97th Tour de France
July 3-25
Netherlands, Belgium, France

This year, the 20-stage tour starts in the Netherlands and Belgium before crossing into north-east France. Descending into more central areas and the famous Burgundy region, it then traces a route around the Alps, southern France, and the Pyrenees before the penultimate stages in and around Bordeaux. As is tradition, the final stage finishes in Paris, on the Champs Élysées. There are no admission fees, so arrive early to snag a good spot - seasoned spectators bring stepladders.

15th Wife Carrying World Championships
July 3
Sonkajarvi, Finland

One way to guarantee a decent supply of free beer is to win the gruelling wife carrying championships, whose 253m course covers sand, grass, gravel, and various wet and dry obstacles. Fun is a mandatory requirement, admission costs for spectators are €20 per person, €5 for under 12s with plenty to see and do.

Catalan MotoGP
July 4
Montmelo, Catalonia, Spain

One of four MotoGPs to take place in Spain over the course of the 18 race season, three day grandstand passes are €99 in the main grandstand or €163.80 for one that overlooks several corners and a jumbo TV wall. A wider selection may be available directly from the Circuit de Catalunya. or

40th Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
July 8-17
Istanbul, Turkey

Taking place at the Turkish city's Atakoy Marina on the Sea of Marmara, the Youth Worlds are set to welcome 344 sailors from 63 countries. There are boys and girls races for one and two person dinghies, windsurfers, and then an open class for multihull and high performance dinghies.

99th Davis Cup - Quarterfinals
July 9-11
Various locations

Eight teams remain for the second round knockout stage. France host 2009 champions Spain in Clermont-Ferrand (tickets: €23-€78), Russia and Argentina meet in Moscow ($200-$5,600+), Serbia travel to Split in Croatia (€14-€42), and Chile must beat last year's runners up Czech Republic ($44-$244) in Conquimbo to progress.

Rugby Union Tri-Nations
Saturdays, July 10 - September 11
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

A round-robin competition organized by the Australian, New Zealand, and South African Rugby Unions, the Tri Nations matches also play a part in deciding who wins three separate challenge trophies: Australia and New Zealand contest the Bledisloe Cup, Australia and South Africa tussle for the Mandela Challenge Plate, New Zealand and South Africa vie for ownership of the Freedom Cup.

Formula 1 British Grand Prix
July 11, starts 12:00 GMT
Silverstone, United Kingdom

A modified layout adds several corners and just over 750m to each lap at Silverstone. Tickets for race day are from £185 to £250 (€225-€305), uncovered areas half price for minors. A three day pass can be obtained for £290 (€350). The FIFA World Cup Final will also be shown live as part of the Grand Prix After Party. or

Almabtreib Downhill Racing
July 15-18
Hungerszell, Germany

The IGSA World Cup heads to Hungerszell, an area of natural beauty close to Nuremberg, Munich, and the border with the Czech Republic and Austria, for the Almabtreib - "The Cattle Drive". The entire downhill route is closed off to traffic for the four day contest and around 2,000 bales of hay line the course for the safety of spectators and riders hurtling past at up to 95 km/h. Training, time trials and qualifications occur in the lead up to Race Day on the 18th.

FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships
July 15-23
Roberval, Quebec, Canada

The Championships come to Canada for the first time, located in a closed loop circuit on Lac Saint-Jean, as featured in Louis Hémon's novel Maria Chapdelaine. The World Open Water Swimming Championships also precede the Traversée Internationale du Lac saint-Jean swimming gala, July 24 - August 1.

Golf: The Open Championship
July 15-18
St Andrews, UK

The third of four majors, the British Open returns to the famous Old St Andrews course in Fife, Scotland. Club and Grandstand tickets are sold out; a 7 day course pass is £240, day tickets are £60 each, less for practice days. Reductions are available for children and seniors. or

Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
July 16-18
Arendal, Norway

The glamorous World Powerboat Championship's second race of the 2010 season is in Arendal, on the southern coast of Norway. Spectators may view the racing for free while VIP hospitality packages are also available. The next WPC race is also in Scandinavia, relocating to Sweden for early August.