▲ BVB 10 participants come together for a group shot on the second day. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
The number ten is often used to indicate the pinnacle of a scale, to show highest attainable level. Though the number ten symbolised the sequential increment of Jeju Furey’s beach volleyball tournaments, it was also an appropriate assessment of the event, as the sandy showdown known as BVB10 scored tens across the board.
Jeju Furey’s tenth BVB tournament saw 32 teams and 192 players compete on the sands of Hamdeok Beach over Oct. 12-13, the highest participation in a fall BVB event. As the tournament has grown, so has the distance players are willing to travel to compete in it: BVB 10 saw players commute from Daegu, Gwangju, Gyeongju, Pyeongtaek, and Seoul to square off with local Jeju talent. And for the first time, a non-Jeju based team took home top prize.
The A Bracket was won by the Zingers (Sae-Mee Farris, Kim Ok Hwan, Song Surim, Timothy Yu, Joshua Worthington, Ronald Farris), B Bracket by Dadigers (Kim Soo Yeon, Yang Migyeong, Byeon Hui-jeong, Lim Yeong-seop, Kang Dong-yoo, Kim Jongwon), C Bracket by the Jeju-Si Men (Ashley Sheppard, Cathy Della Lucia, Taylor Fowler, Dave Seibert, Sean Ferguson, Calvin Lewis) and D Bracket by Thrillhouse (Erin Kangas, Jamie Hemenway, Kim Minji, Terry Erickson, Damon Morelli, Nathan Hoffman).
Jeju Furey president Dan Nabben felt positive vibes on the tournament from the visiting competitors.
▲ Furey president Dan Nabbben said he was pleased so many players had flown in from the mainland. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
“There aren't too many things more complimentary to this event than seeing that over two dozen people fly in to play and then post after that they want to come back,” said Nabben.
Seeing two teams hailing from outside Jeju competing in the A final was new to longtime Furey competitors and spectators. While continuing to strike a balance between extreme enjoyment and fierce competition, acting Jeju Furey president Mary Summers believes the success of out-of-towners in a Jeju tournament is a good thing.
“I think it’s going to up the game of the Jeju players,” Summers said. “Jeju has awesome players, but now there’s more competition. We’re so used to knowing who we’re cheering for. It’s a change for people who have been here for all ten tournaments.”
But as the tournament continues to evolve, Summers also contends that the event will never truly skew from its origins.
“When I first started playing volleyball here, I didn’t know what I was doing,” Summers recalled. “But when I went to the beach to play, I was very much included by the others. I feel like that will always be there. My very first tournament, teams were drinking during the games and head-butting the ball. These days, even the D Bracket Final has 12 people trying their hardest to win. All the teams spend their weekend having a blast.”
▲ An action shot during BVB 10 at Hamdeok Beach. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
Besides the action on the sand, BVB 10 saw impressive raffle ticket, merchandise, and fundraising sales. Most importantly, the tournament made over 4.25 million won in cash for the families it charitably supports, the highest for a fall tournament, topping last fall's earnings. These and the rest of BVB 10’s successes were accomplished in large part by the more than 20 volunteers that operate the Furey machine - selling food, merchandise, raffles, announcing, setting up and taking down, and everything else in between.
BVB 11 is tentatively scheduled for May 10/11, again at Hamdeok Beach. Early estimates suggest 38 teams will be in action for the eleventh installation.
For more information on the Furey Foundation, visit www.jejufurey.weebly.com, or email email@example.com. More images from the BVB 10 event by photographer Douglas MacDonald can be found here.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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