Wrap Up - The First Ever Beach Water Polo Fours
The sun wasn’t the only thing bringing the heat on Day 1 as the 17 and unders boys came to Horderns Beach for the inaugural Beach Water Polo Fours. With club rivalries put aside for the day,
‘The Floating Spaghetti Monsters’ were ready to put on a show for the Bundeena spectators as the tournament’s first participants looked to take advantage of the new rules using headers to score and their feet to save. With the coach wading out to the sideline, they looked the early favourite scoring a few early wins on a bright and sunny 29 degree day.
As the crowds piled in from the ferry for a day out at the beach, the ‘Sons of Beaches’ took some time to warm up, however, were able to deliver when it counted, finishing strong and wining the 3rd place playoff against The Barnacles.
Day 1 headed towards the grand final and it became clear that the Joe Boys and the Floating Spaghetti Monsters would meet after some strong performances throughout the morning. A match that wouldn’t have been out of place in our men’s competition for pace or skill was a fitting finale to day 1 and ultimately the Joe Boys stamina proved to be too strong for the local Floating Spaghetti Monsters, taking home the championship T-Shirts.
Day 2 of Beach Water Polo Fours saw 8 mens teams and 5 womens teams coming to Bundeena from all over Sydney bringing along with them their boats, inflatable flamingos and other watercraft. There was plenty of curiosity and questions throughout the morning as some very experienced players had to adjust to the modified rule changes and others simply learnt how to play water polo. Event Director and MC Scott Nicholson was thrilled to see so many levels of water polo ability all mixed in to one day, noting “about 15% of participants haven’t played for a water polo club, so it’s really rewarding to know that we were able to introduce the players to the sport in such a relaxed and enjoyable environment.”
Although not as warm as the day previous, this didn’t stop the teams’ enthusiasm as they entered the cold(er) waters of Horderns Beach for their matches. Our Illawarra friends started the day with a hotly contested derby fixture in the womens competition whilst the ‘Bate Bay Body Basher Barbarians’ were out to impress the crowd with more than just their matching swimmers, proving to be at home in the conditions.
The sun came out to play just in time for the finals where the ‘Sharkettes’ would take on ‘Bring Back Bec 2017’ featuring 2x Olympian and bronze medallist Bec Rippon as part of both their team and team name. ‘Bring Back Bec 2017’ may have been successful luring Bec back in the water for Beach Water Polo Fours, however, they would not be receiving the champions t shirts, going down to local team ‘The Sharkettes’ made up of local Cronulla Water Polo Club players.
Attempting new tactics at Beach Water Polo Fours wasn’t just limited to the water, as the ‘Bate Bay Body Basher (BBBB) Barbarians’ opted to refuel at the Bundeena Bowling Club before their grand final. Other teams such as ‘Wings n Tins’ opted for the afternoon siesta strategy, certainly fitting the holiday atmosphere created by the picturesque Bundeena.
Fittingly, the game of the day was the grand final as the ‘Bate Bay Body Basher Barbarians’ used their local ocean swimming experience to force a penalty shootout against the more fancied ‘Mooses’, featuring 2x Olympian Johnno Cotterill. Right on cue, the ferry pulled in just in time to catch all the action, with the audience growing our commentator Emanuel Comino joined Event Director Scott Nicholson on the microphone to help navigate the crowd on the beach and in the water . In the end, it was ‘The Mooses’ who proved too strong over the local boys, as 2x Olympian Johnno Cotterill, playing his first game of water polo since his World League appearance for the Australian men’s team earlier in 2017.
For full list of fixtures and results, head to the draws and results tab at the top of this page.
A huge thank you to all of our participants, getting behind this brand new event in its first year. If you missed out this time around stay tuned, there are bigger and better things planned for 2018 so watch this space!