Another Morning at the Liveable Beach
This picture is meant to convey the fact that there were volleyball courts as far as one could see! And action everywhere. A great scene.
These folks are a mix of participants and passersby who got captivated by the men's match I watched; the men's game at this level is amazing to watch, with so much of the play devoted to recoveries outside the normal court, and many points determined that way, and this caused many people witnessing some crazy point to decide to stay put and view some more.
That ball is headed at a pretty tough angle and at very high speed; but note that someone is waiting. In the men's game as I saw it the defence is an enormous force.
In the shot above I really like that I caught all four players in one moment - while there is drama at the net, "they also serve who only stand and wait". And yes - they are not just standing, but are in poses of almost equal tension to those in the momentary confrontation.
This and the next three shots are from a great match between Fiset-Rencourt (in black, and they must be good as their names are on their bikini bottoms - click the pictures to enlarge and you too can read them!) and Moppy-Jo (Moppy is Amanda Moppet but I cannot spell Jo's last name).
The shot below is Moppy from a later match. I developed a certain enthusiasm for her play during the morning.
I had previously never thought much of beach volleyball as a sport, but there is always something wonderful in the atmosphere at an 'amateur' sport championship. The skills are really amazing to watch, especially among the men.
There is also the hilarious coolness aspect. It seemed the men were less glued to wearing sunglasses (even when the sun was a mere memory) than the women; more data collection is required.
The list of sponsors is telling. Bic sun lotion, Crocs footwear, brolle sunglasses (they do seem to have something to do with Bushnell binoculars and the birdwatcher in me sympathized), Sirius satellite radio (?), etc.
The cutest thing was DJ Mike, who kept music playing on a sound system through the whole event, as well as some pretty delightfully inane chatter. This is not like golf, where a cough from the gallery can bring the security people down upon you. These players know how to concentrate!
DJ Mike really amazed me at one point - it turned out that there was also a charity run-walk along the boardwalk in the morning, and he was asked to warn people watching from the boardwalk to yield to the runners. As the runners came through he managed to broadcast the "Chariots of Fire" theme. Sweet.
The Torontonians lucky enough to know this was happening (the Volleyball Canada web site is almost completely useless) stopped and watched and really enjoyed the privilege of seeing these people willing to work so hard at such specific skills. Some slight media coverage and attention locally would have been nice. I may be about it.