NOW THAT the World Cup is underway, all those who couldn't get tickets and are still in need of sport and drama can always focus on the Olympic Games in the year 2000 instead.

No doubt this is the thinking behind the "Preliminary Tour and Ticket Pre-Registration" brochure by Sportsworld, official ticket and tour operator of the British Olympic Association for the Sydney games.

In case you don't have your 2000 diary to hand, the dates of the 27th Olympiad are 15 September to 1 October, though the event schedule is still only available in "outline form". Ticket prices have not yet been announced either.

Nevertheless, potential punters are asked to pre-register now, to ensure their "priority status". The programmes on which they can choose to pre- register include the Independent Traveller Programme, the Fully Inclusive Patrons Programme, and the Visiting Friends and Relatives Programme. The brochure's pictures mainly comprise unreal snippets of Atlanta '96 decorated with Olympic torches.

I must confess that I would like to see how this summer's football orgy in France pans out before I commit any money to yet another of the world's "greatest sporting occasions".

After all, by August we might well have decided that small is beautiful. In which case, we may want to spend the first summer of the next millennium elsewhere.

To judge by my Top Yacht brochure, a holiday for two on a crewed yacht charter off the coast of Turkey could be a good alternative to the Sydney Olympics. Instead of vast crowds and hubbub, we have superbly crafted and maintained little sailing-boats, with surprisingly tasteful wooden interiors, nosing into inlets and coves ideal for swimming. We even get personal details of the people who crew them and act as hosts, guides and cooks for the trip. Sporty and dramatic? No, but very relaxing.

Sportsworld: 01235 554844; Top Yacht Charter: 01753 646636.