Richard will defend beach crown

Beach volleyball sees the next stage of a local competition and a familiar face is looking retain his kudos.

Public Beach hosts the ‘King of the Beach’ monthly tournament this Sunday, 30 October. Sanctioned by the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation, the event is slated to run from 12noon until roughly 4pm.

Organizing the competition is Caymanian player Richard Campbell. The George Town native is also the reigning winner after nabbing September’s crown. Campbell, 27, states he is pleased with the participation level.

“It has been a success so far,” Campbell said. “It’s exciting and I hope it continues to be. I’m happy with the competition level.

“This weekend’s meet will be the same time at the same place as the other competitions. The only changes are a new referee as Michael McLaughlin will be unavailable and new prizes as Digicel will be offering two Blackberry Curve 8520s with a week of free internet.”

The King of the Beach series uses a double-style format that awards players on an individual basis, based on record and statistics. Every player teams up with each of their competitors once.

Campbell is far from a sure bet to retain his crown. A number of top players are involved such as Shervin Rankin (who won the first match in August), Duncan Hamann and Glen Daykin.

Heading into Sunday’s game, Rankin is atop the series standings with 180 points, Andrew Gordon is second with 140 points and Campbell is third with 130 points.

The series has a lot of community support already. Overseeing the games are referees from the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation such as Fareed Hosein, Michael McLaughlin and Keith Higgins. The sponsors are Digicel, Corona and Funky Monkey.

After this Sunday’s tournament, King of the Beach will host another session in November. After that the series is slated to go on a Christmas break and resume in January or February 2012. Campbell states the tournament is one of a number of happenings on the local volleyball scene.

“King of the Beach is basically training for the other tournaments like the 2012 Olympic qualifiers (being held on Island in December) and it keeps players in a competitive mind-set with the right attitude for those contests.

“There is also a Corona beach volleyball league starting up this week. It is a co-ed four-a-side competition that will be happening for six weeks with sessions twice a year. Next week there is the indoor Cayman Airways Spikefest tournament.”

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