It was Bourne’s third straight Manhattan Open championship. He became the first male player to win most coveted title in beach volleyball three straight times since Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers did it as a dynamic duo from 2006-08.
On the women’s side, second-seeded Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske rode the wave of the crowd to win their first AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open over Kelly Cheng and Betsi Flint. The used the support of their friends, families and fans to pull out the win.
“I think the fans see how hard we’re working,” Hughes said. “We are grinding. We are never giving up. We are working with our trainer. We’re working with our coach on all the little things. I really truly believe that the see that and we appreciate that” support.
Known as the Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball, the AVP Manhattan Open is the premier beach volleyball tournament in the world. The word among players throughout the sports history has always been “you haven’t won anything until you’ve won Manhattan.”
That is because the sport was born in Manhattan Beach when former college indoor players moved to this Los Angeles beach city and began playing on the sand at Marine Street.
The event is held a mile south of that location at the Manhattan Beach Pier and knowledgable fans from throughout the Beach Cities pour into the area to watch the full weekend of games (which are free with the exception of premier seats) and fill the bars. Winners often celebrate by having beers at Shellback Tavern with those fans. The winners, of course, never pay for those beers; they are bought by the fans.
Winners also get the Manhattan Beach equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame with plaques on the pier.