Lausanne, 29th June 2007 – From 24th to 29th of July the best Beach Volleyball players of the world will compete in Switzerland for the SWATCH FIVB World Championships. 2’250 tons of sand will be poured beneath the Alps to host the higher jumps. 12’000 seats for Gstaad arena. Interview with the Swiss team Kuhn - Schwer
2’250 TONS OF SAND BENEATH THE ALPS
2’250 tons of sand will be needed to complete the 8 different courts in Gstaad for the SWATCH FIVB 2007 World Championships. For Centre Courts 1 and 2, about 650 tons of new sand will be transported to Gstaad. This year, the sand was ordered in Düsseldorf (GER) and was tested by the official FIVB examination centre in Canada: it got excellent results; and it’s the same sand as for the Olympic Games in Athens 2004.
The sand will be transported with 5 trucks from Basel and poured on the courts just after the Allianz Suisse Open, turning a tennis court into a beach court in a few hours with the helping hands of 100 volunteers.
12’000 SEATS CAN RIVAL BEIJING. FREE ENTRANCE ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY TO LAUNCH THE EVENT
About 4 weeks before the beginning of the SWATCH FIVB World Championships, the organizers are nearly close to 50% of the tickets sold. On Tuesday and Wednesday the entrance to the Centre and Side Courts is for free, even if the best teams are already playing in Gstaad.
The tent in the World Championships tent Village, situated 2 minutes walk away from the Side Courts and concerts, can be booked at Ticket Corner. It’s for sure a cheap possibility to stay in the middle of the beach area in Gstaad.
With a capacity of 12’000 spectators, these installations can compete with the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Stadium at the Olympic Games in Bejing – compared to the population of 15 million Chinese and to 7’000 in the Saanenland.
SIMONE KUHN AND LEA SCHWER BACK TOGETHER FOR GSTAAD
Like the world famous Laciga Bros, back together just a few SWATCH World Tour steps before Gstaad, another Swiss team has been formed again to become a gold searcher.
After a successful temporary solution with Romana Kayser and Annik Skrivan, Simone Kuhn is back again for the FIVB Beach World Tour Grand Slam in Stavanger (NOR) together with her partner Lea Schwer. Both are optimistic and think with a wink of eyes to a surprise during the SWATCH FIVB World Championships.
After 4 tournaments with Romana Kayser (Zürich) and Annik Skrivan (Basel, St. Pölten, Moskau) Simone didn’t play other tournaments. Why?
Simone: “It wasn’t my intention to confuse the planned preparations and season beginnings of the other Swiss teams, because I knew it was an interim solution anyway. For me as well as the team Kuhn - Schwer it was important not to loose the competition practice and to play some tournaments in the meantime. This solution was good and directly after the European Beachtour tournament in Moskau, Lea and I started training together again.”
How is the shoulder of Lea Schwer?
Lea: “After the operation at my shoulder I recovered well and I have no pain. The process of regeneration was without any complications and faster than usually planed. That’s why Simone and I can go back to the tournaments earlier than planned.”
What does your programme look like?
Simone: “After the Grand Slam in Stavanger we’re going to play in the SWATCH World Tour in Montreal, Berlin and Marseille.”
What are the chances for Kuhn - Schwer to play at the World Championships in Gstaad?
Lea: “The chances are really good. As already mentioned, my shoulder is very well and there is nothing against the participation in Gstaad. If nothing happens, Kuhn - Schwer will be playing at the World Championships.”
From your point of view, where there any surprises on the World Tour 2007? Which team will you have to observe?
Simone: “The American Walsh - May, the Brazilian Juliana - Larissa, Renata - Talita… and the Chinese. There are also some other teams playing very good too, especially the new formed Australian Team Barnett - Cook. In Stavanger we are seeing the teams live and can make a better picture of the situation. We hope for a surprise in Gstaad…”
Lea: “The participants at a World Championships are always very strong, because no team wants to miss such an event. I think the American, Brazilian and Chinese teams are really strong. Also the new formed Australian Team and the Norwegian Team Hakedal - Torlen proved already that they are able to play within the top places. But the World Championships is a new tournament which has first of all to be played – and surprises are always and everywhere!”
Challenger and Satellite to promote Beach Volleyball
The main important innovation is that, starting from this season, the points earned at Challenger and Satellite will also count towards the entry points of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.
The FIVB Challenger and Satellite events offer an excellent experience for promoters to stage successful Beach Volleyball events without requiring the considerable human and financial resources required to stage a SWATCH FIVB World Tour event. Moreover, Challenger and Satellite are offering a great experience to certain international pairs to develop. Such smaller-scale events can often act as a staging post before organising a World Tour event. For example, the 2005 Challenger event in Phuket, Thailand, has led to a SWATCH FIVB World Tour stop in 2006 and 2007.
There will be an important women’s event in Beijing, China on 13-19 August. A sort of general rehearsal for the Games, since this Challenger event will be played in the Olympic competition format with 24 teams and a USD 50,000 prize money. Another Challenger event is now staging in Czech Republic until Sunday. The FIVB’s home country of Switzerland accounts for two events on the calendar, with a women’s exhibition and men’s Satellite in the FIVB home town of Lausanne. Concerning the Satellite, besides the event in Lausanne, the Challenger features a women’s Satellite in Spain (29th June to 1st July), a men’s Satellite in Liechtenstein (9th to 12th August).
With the FIVB Challenger and Satellite events offering more flexibility and shorter lead times than the SWATCH FIVB World Tour, further tournaments may be added to the calendar during the course of the year.
FIVB CHALLENGER AND SATELLITE
Spain Satellite 29 June - 1 July San Sebastiàn USD 10,000
France Exhibition 8-9 July M. la Napoule USD 9,000
Italy Challenger 19-22 July Eboli USD 30,000
South Korea Exhibition 23-25 July Busan USD 48,000
Cyprus Challenger 25-28 July Geroskipou USD 30,000
South Korea Exhibition 2-3 August Geoje USD 15,000
Liechtenstein Satellite 8-11 August Vaduz USD 10,000
China Challenger 13-19 August Beijing USD 50,000
Switzerland Exhibition 18-Aug Lausanne CHF 7,000
China Challenger 7-11 November Hong Kong USD 30,000
Unit. Arab Em. Exhibition 8-9 November Dubai USD 20,000
Czech Rep. Challenger 28/6-1/7 Brno USD 30,000
Cyprus Challenger 26-29 July Geroskipou USD 30,000
Liechtenstein Satellite 9-12 August Vaduz USD 10,000
Switzerland Satellite 16-19 August Lausanne USD 15,000
Italy Challenger 31 Aug - 2 Sept Milan USD 30,000