More than 80 teams will descend on Scarborough Beach for the 2018 Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball WA State Open. Headlined by Rio Olympians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, the event will see some of Australia’s best beach players battle it out for glory and qualification for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
World class volleyball will be on display in the women’s main draw when Australia’s number one-seeded team make their triumphant return to the Australian Beach Volleyball tour. Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will look to restart their 2018 Commonwealth Games campaign as Clancy returns from injury. The pair missed the esteemed FIVB World Tour stop in Shepparton in favour of the 2018 Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball WA State Open and are ready to get back into the sand.
“We’re both looking forward to getting back out there and competing together again. The aim for the WA Open is obviously to win and get back into the swing of things.” Artacho del Solar said.
“We ended last year really well with some World Tour wins, so we want to continue that form. Now that Taliqua’s had a chance to rest after the training hiccup, we’re back on track and excited to continue developing our game style.”
The Australian duo will face tough competition from Hong Kong’s number one-seed beach duo, Yven Ting Chi and Au Yeung Wai Yan. Also in the mix will be 2016 and 2017 winner Christie Jenkins who will be partnering with Tamsin Hinchley in search of her third consecutive WA State Open win.
In the men’s draw all eyes will be on 2017 winner and World Tour bronze medalist Zac Schubert as he plays with former partner Max Guehrer. Schubert will be missing his WA team mate and 2017 WA State Open winner Cole Durant as he recovers from minor shoulder surgery. Schubert and Guehrer’s combination will be tested by visiting Hong Kong duo Wong Pui Lam and Tsz Ho Kelvin. The Hong Kong number one-seed team will be looking for redemption after a less than satisfying Shepparton campaign earlier in the year.
“We started the year over at Shepparton where we placed ninth. It wasn’t our best performance so we are aiming for a better result here on the west coast. The aim is to build on the result and we know the level of competition is high here, so we hope to make the semi-finals.” Kelvin said.
WA favourites Mark van Winsen and Jayson Fox will also be aiming to take out the win after coming second at last year’s event. Van Winsen and Fox have had a solid lead in to the event with two wins on the Alcohol. Think Again Beach Tour, including last week’s Trigg Beach stop.
“We’re not sure what to expect this year. Last year we had a really good lead in and had a bit of confidence going into the Open. We’ve had similar success this year, so we’ll be there to win. It’s a long process and this year we have a lot of good teams so you never know what might happen.” Van Winsen said.
The 2018 Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball WA State Open is a free event set to be held at Scarborough Beach from the 17th to 18th of February. With construction still ongoing, patrons are advised to take public transport or head down early to secure a parking spot.
If you can’t make it down be sure to follow’s Volleyball Australia Youtube live stream or follow Volleyball WA’s social media coverage for all the volleyball action.