The sand was almost as hot as the competition on Elliott Heads for round 10 of Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour.
The competitive streak that drove Shanon Zunker to great heights in volleyball for more than two decades was satisfied on Sunday when the Bundaberg product took out the men's premier division.
Shanon, 43, teamed up with Queensland men’s number-one ranked player Joel Berry, 24, to win the final 2-0 (21-13, 21-14), against Rockhampton youngsters Jordon Cox and Thomas Goody.
It was Joel’s third successive Bundaberg title in the Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour following his previous successes with different partners.
As the promoter of the event, Shanon would have been busy enough during the weekend, but because he was not content to just sit and watch he earned the winners' medal, and potentially a break from the sand at his home beach.
“Big credit to the guy I played with today, he carried me a little bit, he's half my age and twice my height – that was a big help,” Shanon said.
“I can put that one away now and tick that box and relax without the stress of having to win Bundaberg again.”
An interrupted preparation because of injury may have hampered the runners up, but that did not stop Shanon from praising his younger opponents.
“The two young boys from Rockhampton we competed against have played with each other for several years, and they know each other back to front,” he said.
“One of them has been injured, but had they been playing a bit more this season they would have pushed us, but they did extremely well.”
Elliott Heads was a great setting for the event, and its success ensured the Queensland Beach Volleyball Tour would return in the future.
Shanon said the pedigree of the players who took part this was fantastic, and he hoped the future was bright for the sport in the Bundaberg Region.
“The teams that made it to the end have all played national level beach volleyball before, so the quality was really good,” he said.
“The people sitting up watching probably weren't too sure who was there, or where they were from, but they were actually watching a pretty good standard of volleyball.
“I hoped to keep growing it, keep bringing the players here and bring the people to the region.
“It really is a perfect setting for beach volleyball, and it would be good for this sort of event to have more influence and grow some interest in the sport.”
The players will enjoy a rest until Coolangatta hosts the Queensland Open in two weeks, before the Queensland titles are held in Mooloolaba on Good Friday.
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