Showing up in Laguna Coastline could sometimes resemble stepping out of a time capsule. From the relaxing streets that serpent down to the coast, to the wooden boardwalk, to the site Laguna Coastline Lifeguard Tower at Main Coastline, the community is evocative of an additional time.
That old-timey feeling was on display over the weekend, when the Laguna Open men’s beach volleyball tournament came to community. Billed by coordinators as the earliest continually held coastline volleyball tournament in the United States, the 63rd yearly Laguna Beach Men’s Open was staged at Key Beach Saturday, June 3, and also Sunday, June 4.
Although the Manhattan Beach Open has been referred to as the “Granddaddy” of professional coastline volley ball as well as has actually maintained formal documents because 1960, the Laguna Open traces its ancestry to 1955, when late beach legend Gene Selznick won the initial of his seven straight titles at Main Beach on his method to coming to be Southern The golden state’s unofficial “King of the Beach.”
“It’s our claim to popularity and we’re staying with it,” stated Kirk Morgan, the competition supervisor, stated of the Laguna Beach Open.
And while Manhattan Beach has actually grown in size and also extent as well as currently bills itself as the “Super Dish” of beach volley ball, Laguna retains it old-style feel and charm.
In Manhattan Beach, hundreds of followers group to the pier and also fill out the streets in all instructions. Stadium sitting fills up the sand as well as VIP tickets cost $140 each.
At Laguna Beach, you can stroll your dog to the edge of the court and also drive so near to the action on PCH that a wayward ball might miss onto the street in front of you. Just a smattering of outdoors tents lets you recognize an occasion is being presented.
There is no signs for beer or tequila representatives. No prominent clothiers. No big blow-up coastline volleyballs or TV towers.
This is beach ball as it as soon as was. This is the old-town nature of Laguna Coastline, in addition to the $3.39 gas at the edge Mobil, that is.
The Laguna Coastline tournament is an all-volunteer initiative, with a $5,000 prize bag. Fans rest courtside and stand on the wood boardwalk just feet from the action. The City of Laguna Coastline as well as the California Beach Volley ball Association aid fund the fulfill.
“As a gamer its one of the very best as well as coolest tournaments,” Morgan claimed “It’s kind of relaxeded, yet it still attracts top players. We attempt to arrange it away from the big money events.”
This year’s occasion routine have actually to be rejiggered on Saturday when a sea lion picked Court http://# 4 as the area to give birth to her dog.
Laguna heeds back to the days when players would certainly battle for a six-pack a t-shirt and perhaps a gift certificate.
Ed and also Lois Austin, of Laguna Beach, who used to play as well as organize coastline tournaments in Corona Del Mar, say of the cozy feel.
Both remember the game before Olympic as well as tv direct exposure. Prior to it came to be a full-time job for gamers. Before the rise and also fall and surge once again of the Association of Volley ball Professionals.
Lois Austin prefers to inform the tale of a year when Ed as well as his partner won an event and also her hubby lost his share. The following morning, Lois Austin was assisting clean up the parking area, and there was Ed’s victor’s share &http://#8211; &http://#8211; a $10 bill.
Ed Ratledge, 40, from Huntington Beach, is a periodic competitor on the AVP trip and owner of VolleyOC, a beach volleyball instruction college and also event coordinator.
A previous winner at Laguna, Ratledge likes the vibe.
“It takes the stress and anxiety out that we’re not betting large rewards,” Ratledge said.
Eric Zaun, 23, from Florida is Ratledge’s new partner, also likes the laid-back nature of the competition.
“I don’t generally engage with the fans as I’m aiming to get right into the area,” he said. Yet in Laguna he strolls about as well as chats up the fans, while additionally taking some time to pitch Mahogany Smoked Meats, one of his sponsors.
Organizers and also followers say a big factor for the tournament’s capability to continue with the years, past the volunteers, is the backing of the city, which appears to take pride in its event.
“It’s enjoyable that the community is actually right into it,” Ratledge claimed.
Or, as Lois Austin put it, “It’s simply Laguna.”