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Sandbanks Classic--VEBT Grand Slam

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Friday nite 4th of July Lenore picked me up and we drove down to Poole. Took the A3 instead of the M3 which made for a slightly longer journey and arrived at the campground at about 11:30pm where Mark was sleeping in the van already! Put tents up in the rain and went to bed. Up early and to the beach-Sandbanks is a nice little peninsula of sand just south of Poole. It has some large houses along the strip which apparently now sell for a small fortune. However I wasn't that impressed with them--nothing like the houses we would build along coastal frontage like that in NZ. (compare it to Mt Maunganui beach front!)

It was very windy all day and cloudy off and on. Made for very challenging beach vball. Local guys have run this tournament for years so we didnt have so much to do as we didnt have control of the tournament which made it difficult for us. I tried to do some commentary but the music desk was miles away from centre court and there was no seats or grandstands. Not the best set up on the tour and I don't think worthy of being a grand slam event. (There are only 3 grand slams on the VEBT along with 5 opens) Saturday nite we showered at the campsite and went to Poole for dinner, found a Chinese buffet and ate as much Chinese as was possible! And as usual after eating Chinese told myself I wouldnt eat it again for a long time! Then went to another campground and visited some players. We hung out in their tent with a guitar and some chocolate and tried to sing some songs--there was some Czech song about a ninja??

Sunday was wet and windy--tough decision to make on when to start play. We went ahead in pretty nasty conditions and the players had to battle and got pretty wet. But then it fined up although the wind stayed pretty strong all day. So crowds were not great and the vball wasnt so great and the commentary wasnt so great and the music wasnt so great and overall the event was not so great. The tennis final was brilliant however and as I drove the van back to London with Laurie we enjoyed BBC 5s commentary on the game and were very entertained by one of the best tennis finals ever!

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