Sydney, Australia, February 8, 2019 - It will be the first time Australia hosts a 3-star FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event when the international circuit stops on Manly Beach for the Sydney event from March 6 to 10 with an unprecedented number of international players entering, including three-time Olympic gold medallist American Kerri Walsh Jennings, as well as the top teams in the country.
Among the favourites at the tournament will be the world number seven ranked Australian team, comprising Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy. The pair won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals and are well on their way to qualifying for the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics.
Fellow Australian Olympians Nikki Laird and Becchara Palmer are scheduled to play in their second FIVB tour event as a combination after making their debut two weeks earlier in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They had early success in the National Tour event in Cobram in January. Palmer is returning to the World Tour after playing only eight FIVB events since the London 2012 Olympic Games with Louise Bawden.
Like the women’s draw there will be plenty of challengers coming from Australia in the men's.
Chris McHugh won gold at the Commonwealth Games with Damien Schumann. Both have new partners heading into VolleyFest. McHugh is teaming up with Zac Schubert. They recently won the Australian Tour event in Cobram, while Schumann is now playing with Cole Durrant.
VolleyFest starts with the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships from March 1 to 3, followed by the NSW Beach Volleyball Schools Cup.
The FIVB World Tour 3-star event starts with qualification on March 6 before the main draw from March 7 to 10.
Manly Beach will be transformed with assembly of the main stadium starting on February 20. Alongside the stadium will be four outside courts.
VolleyFest offers equal prize money for men and women and is proudly supported by Destination NSW.
Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher said: “Volleyfest 2019 has attracted an unprecedented field of world class athletes never before seen in Australia. The quality of athletes are sure to put on a master class of beach volleyball on the sands of Manly and we are very excited to be hosting this exciting FIVB World Tour event. In its fifth year, VolleyFest is also an important event in the battle for qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which adds to its excitement and spectacle as they will all be playing for keeps.”
Tickets are now on sale at https://2019volleyfest.eventbrite.com.au