Volleyball enthusiasts can look forward to a weekend of stellar performances, with aces, bumps, blocks and digs galore as the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament returns to the sandy beaches of Cayman.
This year’s tournament takes place Friday to Sunday at Public Beach next to Calico Jack’s and play will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
“The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) has been hosting the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Continental Tour (Cayman) at 7-Mile Public Beach for eight years, with the Cayman stop opening the tour for the first seven,” said Kennedy McGowan, Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation president. “The event plays a major role in promoting sports tourism for Cayman and is known as a premier stop on the tour.”
Aside from Cayman, 15 countries will be competing this year in male and female divisions, with the full team listing consisting of teams from Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and the Virgin Islands.
Cayman will be the fifth event on the NORCECA schedule this year, with games already played in Guatemala; Guaymas and La Paz, Mexico; and Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and promises to be different to the other stops.
“The new site layout at 7-Mile Public Beach will be unique in comparison to other Caribbean settings,” explains McGowan. “Unlike other host countries which have courts spread across various areas, Cayman’s venue encompasses three competition courts side-by-side with an ocean view so the audience will be able to see all games played from one vantage point. Covered seating is available for spectators to relax and enjoy watching their favorite teams play during the three-day event.”
This year, Cayman has three teams in the competition. Two female teams consist of Jessica Wolfenden, Stefania Gandolfi, Marissa Harrison and Chante Smith-Johnson, while the male team’s members are Phillipe Deslandes and Olney Thompson.
Cayman placed 16th overall in the Women’s competition of NORCECA last year, and 21 out of 25 in the Men’s. Wolfenden and Gandolfini also won gold at the Natwest Island Games in Jersey after the women defeated Saaremaa 2-0.
Alongside the volleyball action at this year’s NORCECA tournament there will be activities and entertainment galore. Z99 will be in residence, with Jason Howard hosting the games with DJ Ethan Manderson, and the Z99 Breakfast Buzz being held at the beach on Friday morning. Flow TV will also be at the beach during the games, and there will be Corona giveaways and raffles. Tide Trickers and SWS Cayman will also be doing shows during the volleyball finals.
Attendance for the NORCECA event costs $5 for covered seating and will ensure entry into a raffle with spectacular prizes. VIP tickets to the tournament are available from the Epic Day Entertainment office at The Strand, with Saturday tickets costing $25 for all you can drink plus snacks, and Sunday tickets costing $50 for all you can drink plus snacks. More information on the event can be found on the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation Facebook page.