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Return to Iho BeachSwing Island kicks up sand at volleyball tournament
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승인 2010.07.16  16:38:00
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▲ Players vie for the ball during the Swing Island Beach Volleyball Tournament on July 4. Photo by Mona Hassanien

Im Yeong Seob, known as Subby to his dancing friends, wasn’t looking to have the MTV Spring break skin-fest of an event that Iho Beach witnessed a few weeks back. But once word of the first Swing Island Beach Volleyball Tournament spread to the foreign community, a total of 12 teams hit the sands on America’s Independence Day for eight hours of fun in the (partial) sun.

“I didn’t plan to make it this huge,” said Subby, who plays a role in the managing of Swing Island, a swing dance studio popular with Koreans and foreigners alike. “It was originally meant to be a small group gathering for members.”

Eight of the teams were from the dance studio, and kept the day swinging by showing off dance moves on the pagoda stage during lunch, as well as spontaneously dancing in the sand all day long to bumping pop tunes.

Subby was pleased the tournament was able to accommodate the extra teams, comprised mainly of foreigners. “Other [Swing Island] members and I rarely have an opportunity to mingle with foreigners, especially because we don’t speak fluent English,” he said. “It was nice to encounter some other cultures.”

Psycho Rangers, Ho’ee-Ho’ee and Monkey Sisters and Peace Frogs - easily recognizable in violent-pink shirts and board shorts – were the only returning teams from the Furey Beach Volleyball Tournament. All other teams reshuffled or welcomed new players, some pushing the cleverness envelope with names such as Bumpin’ Uglies and Sets on the Beach.

After three morning games battling for position in the bracket, the top teams earned byes the first round (although is playing less games really a reward?). Three rounds later came the clash of the Notorious DIGs and Free Agents in the final.

The DIGs, of which this writer is a member, took the first set, and were almost down one gangsta’ midway through the second when Candy “Scandylous” Litimco took a cross court dive and was rewarded with a close up view of team mate “Kool” Keith Wojewnik’s fist.

“I’m not going to lie, it hurt,” Litimco said, “but this tournament was all about having fun, and I certainly wasn’t going to let it ruin my fun in the championship game!”

A few concussion checks later, Litimco was ruled fit to compete. After a sluggish resumption with both sides faulting on serve, the game picked up momentum and came down to the wire with both teams approaching 20. On the final point, a Free Agent spike landed just outside the line, and the DIGs sealed the tournament.

“It deserved the title ‘championship’. It was real beach volleyball,” Subby said.

Finding little shade that day, the Notorious DIGs’ skins resembled the tandoori chicken that accompanied their Indian curry and nan bread dinners, covered by the 100,000 won prize money.

“No matter how many games we play in the day it never feels like enough. I’m always left wanting more,” said “Misdemeana” Tina Borges, who at one point thought Mount Halla might erupt from all the excitement.

The nets provided by Iho and Jungmun Beaches will have to be enough to hold over Borges and the rest of the volleyball-crazed Jeju residents until tournament action returns year in October.

For English info about Swing Island, contact cynthialoiselle@yahoo.ca.





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