Sydney, Australia, March 16, 2017 – It is in no way an understatement to say the weather at Sydney’s Manly Beach this week has been horrific.
In fact, the overworked, wind-blown, sodden staff who have spent the week trying to prepare two world-class beach volleyball courts will tell you horrific does the conditions no justice.
And the weather forecast for the weekend is not much better, adding a definite sense of intrigue and anticipation to the return of World Tour beach volleyball to one of Australia’s most iconic beaches.
In a desperate attempt to try and beat the weather, organisers have decided to start Friday’s matches two hours earlier, at 8am local time. If the forecast is true, it will simply prolong the agony for those tasked with standing in the elements.
The players will tell you this is what beach volleyball is all about, battling the elements, taking on the wind, the rain, the thunder and the lightning.
Certainly when international teams headed off from their homeports in the Northern Hemisphere to take part in Manly’s first World Tour event since 1990, most would have felt glad to be leaving their winters behind.
In all 24 teams will take to the sand this weekend, in a sudden elimination format which will see the best Australian women players take on teams from Europe, North America, Asia, the Pacific and Oceania.
Alongside the usual suspects, teams from Scotland, Turkey and England will step out in a competition headed by Australian top seeds, Louise Bawden and Nikki Laird.
Competition kicks off on Friday, and finishes Sunday. Weather permitting.