The Annual Volleyball Tournament and Beach Bash Has Security, Crowds, Too Many Barricades, House Parties, and Hulk Hogan
I saw Hulk Hogan.
Well, he’s not really Hulk Hogan. His name is Tall Paul,” and he dresses up like Hulk Hogan (looking remarkably like the wresting star), each year for Manhattan Beach, CA’s annual zany beach volleyball tournament.
Some things at 6-man never change.
But other things do change, and one of those is security. Manhattan Beach city leaders and police treated this event as if the President were coming to town. They put up more barricades than did Hollywood for Lady Gaga’s performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show earlier in the week.
On the beach, security is searching backpacks (quite throughly, it must be pointed out) and entrance points are on the Pier, to the side of the Pier, at 9th Street and a ridiculous one starting at 12th Street that practically requires one to wade into the Pacific Ocean before circling back to the courts.
All this in a $100,000 effort to to stop people from drinking on the beach. (Drinking at house parties, well that’s another thing entirely.) But that’s the way it is now in this “alcohol crackdown” society that hit 6-man last year.
When things reached their peak on Saturday afternoon, there did not not seem to be any less people on the beach than in recent years. The big difference was that the logjam that usually occurred by the tents on the ocean side did not exist because the people were not stopping to party at those tents. They would pause to check out a game, some costumes, chat with friend or hit on a guy or a girl. After a few minutes, they moved onto something – or someone – else.
The scene was something of a county fair – there’s a couple of vendors set up at the Pier and one is grilling food – but with a decidedly different feel. That’s evident when someone dressed as a bull can be seen standing at the Pier. He’s the mascot for the Matador team, the theme being Spain’s Running of the Bulls.
And around the Pier – and all around downtown, really – house parties broke out like leaks springing in a boat. There’s one here. Oh, and one there. And another one over there! It’s proof that if you take the party away from the people on the beach, they will just take the party elsewhere.
But, let this be said, the Manhattan Beach Police let it happen. And that kept things in check. There were people in the street for blocks, and it was cool! It was like a European block party, a bit crazy but also under control. Aside from a staggering sould here and there, the people were well behaved and respectful of the event and the city. Of course they are, the all live in the South Bay and just want to have a good time at a good event.
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On a side note, the Strand House bar/restaurant (formerly Beaches) is not yet open.
SUNDAY ACTION PHOTOS & CROWD SCENE
PubClub.com has said for years that the true essence of the 6-man is the great volleyball skill. And that is most evident on Sunday. In the afternoon, when matches reach the quarterfinals, crowds gather on the Strand, Pier and the courts to watch these incredible athletes do what they do best – blast the ball on spikes, rise up with amazing vertical leaps to block spikes and make jaw-dropping digs.
On Sunday, a new winner emerged, a team of collegiate players put together by Simmzy’s. UC Santa Barbara and UC-Irvine, two top national programs (UCSB knocked out USC in the NCAA tournament and the Trojans had been #1 the entire year) stocked the roster and they defeated Team Mangum p.i., 15-9 in an action-packed final.
PHOTOS OF THE BARRICADE SET-UP ON FRIDAY
By the way, on a side note it appears as if the Strand House, formerly Beaches, will be open this weekend. Workers are feverishly trying to get it ready by Saturday.