Scarborough Beach hosted the WA leg of the Renault Australian Beach Volleyball Championship over three days on 31st January 2014 – 2nd Feb 2014. With some of the best national and international talent on show, it was sure to be a great event, and what better backdrop then one of Perth’s best beaches.
Unlike AFL, basketball or soccer, beach volleyball isn’t a mainstream sport in WA (at the professional level) so opportunities to photograph the top level talent is few and far between. I was lucky enough to shoot the event for Volleyball Australia, with the photo mandate a combination of commercial / sponsor shots and action sports photography.
The athleticism of the athletes was phenomenal – it was exhausting just watching them jump, spike, and dive all over the court. The speed of the sport, especially at this top level, is extremely fast. This adds to the complexity of shooting beach volleyball (or indoor volleyball for that matter). As a sports photographer it’s a very big advantage to have an intimate knowledge of the sport so you can stay one step ahead of the action and be ready for the shot that split second before it happens, because if you don’t capture that spike or dive, it wont happen again exactly the same. Once its gone, its gone. It never pays to ‘chase’ the action as you’ll miss more shots then you’ll get.
The mens event was taken out by the Australian entry of Chris McHugh and Isaac Kapa, who defeated the Dutch paring of Bo Soderberg and Michiel van Dorsten 18-21 , 21-18, 15-6. Despit a gutsy effort from Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy who tried to replicate their round 1 victory, the womens event was won by a supreme Mariafe Artachio del Solar and Nikki Laird 17-21, 21-18, 15-13.
Here are some photos of the final day of the event.