Liberia is working toward a future removed from its troubled past – and doing so, partly, through surfing.
Eight years removed from its last civil war, the country has a growing tourism industry, part of which circulates around its 350 miles of pristine, white-sand coastline in Western Africa. It was for that reason and the hope of continuing to increase surfing’s presence in the country that it applied and was accepted to become the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) 71st Member Nation.
The ISA has recently undertaken the goal of growing surfing throughout the continent of Africa.
In March, the ISA sent a representative to Mali to address an audience of national Olympic delegates at the Africa International Sports Convention (CISA). In his presentation, Marcos “Bukao” Esmanhoto, the ISA’s Contest Director and an Executive Committee member, outlined the ISA’s efforts to develop surfing throughout the continent, touching on the potential social and economic implications of having a blossoming surf scene. Following the presentation, he received a resounding applause from the roomful of representatives from each of the continent’s 53 countries.
Keep reading – ISA Welcomes its 71st Member Nation, Liberia
// Photos via Save La Jolla Seals
This weekend, Aug 26-28, kicks off the Manhattan Beach Open. The largest and most famous of all the beach volleyball tournaments which features 64 pro teams per gender, including top Olympic teams.
Often called the Masters or Wimbledon of beach volleyball. The players call it the holy grail due to its top prize money, massive media presence, and, most importantly, each winner gets enshrined in the “Volleyball Walk of Fame.”
This memorial features bronze statues that span the length of the Manhattan Beach Pier. It is definitely the “one tournament that all players want to play in”.
- Friday, Aug. 26, 8am – 7pm (16 courts)
- Saturday, Aug. 27, 8:30am – 7:15pm (16 courts)
- Sunday, Aug. 28, 9:15am – 5:30pm (4 courts)
- Women’s final at 2:15pm
- Men’s final (televised live on Versus) at 4pm
The total prize money is $200,000 and the event has a rich history dating all the way back to 1960. “The Manhattan Open was the precursor to everything that has developed in beach volleyball including the Olympics.”
This year, the 51st one, features a three-day, double-elimination tournament. Admission is free and the location is the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier.
Just to get you excited, check out this trailer for the classic beach volleyball movie featuring C. Thomas Howell –