Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pre season WINS!!

It is a Saturday morning here in Rio de Janeiro and the sun was out early.  We just got back from a little road trip to Barra beach where we were supposed to play a special edition tournament for international guests.  It was a fantastic turnout with teams from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Enlgand, Estonia, another Canadian team and a few Brazilians but unfortunately, we decided to abandon ship once we got due to federation rules. The FIVB has strict regulations concerning International players playing on domestic circuits and we felt that a 1 year suspension wasn't worth receiving for a fun Saturday of strong play. As it turned out, a massive swell came through today and apparently halfway through the event, a series of waves washed out the courts up to the road and soaked everybody! I can't imagine this because the courts are literally 100 meters from the waterline so the waves must have been immense! The organizers weren't able to salvage the damaged courts so the event ended abruptly with a super soaker!

We had a FANTASTIC week of game play training with top Norwegian and German teams.  We had two play days on our court where we all played each other and as Ray and I played more games, our confidence and team play sky rocketed.  We are pleased to say that we beat the Germans 3-1 and have a 2-2 set record with the Norwegians. It was also a nice touch to have the Olympic Estonian team come to us and ask to train.  The better english speaker was quite complimentary and it pleases Ray and I greatly to have teams we deeply respect come and organize sessions with us.  Our countless painful hours in the sand have paid off and I firmly believe it will be a breakout year.  I will hopefully have some new videos loaded in the near future but my computer is so full of songs, photos and videos that I don't have any space to load new footage! I will try to free up my hard disk and prepare a solid highlight clip of this week.

On Friday when we arrived at the beach, it was PACKED with international teams.  It has always been clear to me that this is the best place to train in the world and yesterday proved it to be true.  There are about 12 top international teams for men here and about the same for women.  Annie Martin and Marie Andre Lassard landed yesterday so we look forward to spending some time with some fellow Canadians and show them the hot spots here in our block of Ipanema!  

I am going to hop back into bed for a refreshing nap and then head to a BBQ hosted at a local hostel owned by someone in the v-ball crowd. I wish everybody a lovely holiday weekend and I will be posting early next week with results of our busy game schedule,

Tchau from Rio,


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