Teams cross the hill to pick up titles
Story by: JOSH REICH - The Nelson Mail - Photo by: By Chris Symes
Men's and women's finals at Tahuna beach.
Nelson may have the best beaches in the top of the south, but it was visitors from the other side of the Whangamoa Saddle who stole the show at the Port Nelson Tasman Open beach volleyball championships on Sunday.
The four winners in the men's and women's competition live or used to live in Marlborough, including the champions in the Design Art men's open, Greg Lindsay-Brown and Alfie Walter, who repeated their 2010 success.
After getting past Tejas Arn and Arne Drews 2-0 (15-10 15-6) in the semifinals, they squeezed past the Nelson pairing of Nic Bell and Alex Lowe, also 2-0 (21-18 21-8).
"The first set was very close, and the early part of the second set was very close," Tasman Volleyball's Alan Brodie said.
"But Greg Lindsay-Brown has been playing right through the summer, and Alfie Walter came over for the tournament last weekend, so they've just played a lot more volleyball.
"We've got them on notice that they need to come back next year if they want to do a threepeat."
In the ASB Bank women's open, Lindsay-Brown's wife Micah paired up with Michelle Kenny, who is from Blenheim but is now living in Christchurch.
The pair, who won the Tahuna Grand Slam at the start of the year, were too good for fellow Blenheim pair Claudia van Velthooven and Claudia Crawford, also winning 2-0 (21-13 21-6).
"The win was quite comprehensive," Brodie said. "Micah, she's currently ranked number one in New Zealand, and Michelle Kenny is an ex-New Zealand indoor player, so she is a very good athlete, too."
In the Stirling Sports sandhoppers competition, for those of intermediate school age, Connor Higgins and Sam Dallison beat fellow Nelsonians Georgia Davies and Anika Paton 25-7, and in the 623 social fours, the Motley Crew beat Bananarama 25-17.
Brodie said that despite a number of players not being able to play due to the rugby sevens in Wellington and a girls' tournament elsewhere, he was delighted with the strength of the competition.
"All in all, it was another good day at the beach, and that wraps up the competitive end of beach volleyball for the summer."