After the dispiriting downpour that made last year’s tournament something of an endurance event, it was with a sense of dread that the Broughty Ferry organisers emerged from their tent on the beach to see leaden clouds at 7.15am.
By 8.45 the sun had begun to burn through the cloud cover, however, and from 10am onwards the skies blazed – hallelujah!
The tournament’s 11 courts and marquee had been set up the evening before and thanks are due to all who helped – Colin Paterson, Colin McGinlay, Paul McPate, Tim Humphries, Graeme Spowart, James Jensen and Iain Cook.
The women’s event proceeded as most people predicted – as has happened in every single Scottish Tour event they’ve ever competed in, Mel Coutts and Eilidh Smith dominated the opposition, defeating a game but overmatched Claire Penny and Shelly Paterson in the final to take first place.
Coutts and Smith win through a combination of talent and hard work, and the onus is now on Scotland’s top female indoor players to train their hearts out, step up, and see if they can’t dislodge the pair from the top of Scottish women’s beach volleyball.
The men’s Division One tournament was a much more open affair, with perhaps half a dozen pairings capable of reaching the final.
Although only seeded third, everyone expected the pairing of Colin Paterson and Konrad Krawzyk to come first or a close second, and indeed they looked on course to do so until a knee injury beset Paterson before their semi final game, ending the pair’s tournament.
This handed the young Edinburgh duo of Gavin Watt and Colin McNab a free ticket into the final. Despite, on paper, looking like an open-and-shut game for Barry McGuigan and Graeme Riddle, the other men’s semi final turned into perhaps the most exciting contest of the day.
In what would have been the upset of the 2009 season, veteran Barry Robertson and Polish giant Marek Mrowka came within a whisker of defeating McGuigan and Riddle, eventually losing 2-1 with the scores tight in all three sets.
If a prize was given for the most improved beach volleyball partnership, Robertson and Mrowka would win it hands down.
The all-Edinburgh final saw McGuigan and Riddle lift the 2009 Broughty Ferry trophy, defeating a hard working McNab and Watt by two sets to one.
Men’s Division Two was won by Paul McPate and Fraser Smith, with their opponents Michael Coward and Bob Thomson having to forfeit when Coward suffered an injury.
Injuries excepted, the day was a massive success, thanks in no small part to the efforts of April Mitchinson and Pamela Munoz, who, fuelled only by Costa coffee, kept the event running smoothly all day.
Thanks also to those who stayed behind to clear up – in particular Tina Schwamb, Cathy Smy, Fraser Smith, James Jensen, Pamela Munoz and Iain and Mary Cook. And a final thanks to Colin Paterson, who re-did several of the draws and orders of play when people who had registered failed to turn up and people who hadn’t registered did turn up.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sleep for six months.