Love on the beach at Bridlington
26th July 2017
Bridlington South Beach played host to more than 500 volleyball players participating in the 35th Bridlington Open Volleyball Championship earlier this month. The ever-popular event attracted nearly 100 teams from all around the world.
Among the participants were Paul and Caroline Whitworth, who have been competing at Bridlington for so long (20 years, in fact) that it made perfect sense to get married there. Play was therefore halted briefly on the Saturday, allowing all the competitors to witness and celebrate the occasion as the bride made her way to the beach altar through a ‘tunnel’ of flying volleyballs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the couple have vowed to always return to Bridlington to celebrate their anniversary on the beach.
With money raised from the tournament being used to support the development of junior volleyball in Yorkshire, this year’s event also featured a junior coaching session on the Sunday. Ben Pipes, who captained the GB men at the London Olympics and is involved with several junior programmes across the county, was on hand to put the youngsters through their paces.
In the main event, competition was fierce across the tournament’s 4v4 and 2v2 formats, with the distinctly cosmopolitan ‘Fantastic 8’, featuring an Englishman, a French woman and two Hungarians, scooping the main 4v4 prize.
There was immense pride as well with local councillor Richard Burton claiming that the event “goes to show there is no better coastal venue than Bridlington to provide beach and water-based activities” as the East Riding of Yorkshire Council maintained its commitment to bring top quality sporting events to the area.
Clearly, no round-up of such a tournament could ever be complete without a special mention of all the volunteers involved – but especially tournament director Dave Speers and his wife Penny, both of Leeds VC, who logged a vast number of hours in making the tournament happen.
Next year’s competition takes place in Bridlington on the weekend of July 14-15 but, before then, are there plenty of other tournament dates available in the area, courtesy of the Yorkshire Series.