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King, Queen of the Beach crowned

Sports briefs: Trampolinists off to nationals; Smith to be honoured
BEACH BUDS King and Queen of the Beach Philipp Pittke and Marketa Weisserova are shown after their GO Fest wins on May 22. Photo submitted

GO Fest royalty was revered at Rainbow Park on May 22.

In the King/Queen of the Beach format, where each player was assigned a new partner each set and their aggregate scores tallied, Phillip Pittke and Marketa Weisserova earned the top scores and the respective regal rewards.

Pittke, who played 13 years of indoor volleyball back home in Germany before picking up beach volleyball six years ago, said even with a small field, he was challenged.

"It was a tough competition. I was lucky to win it," he laughed.

The unique format provides its own set of challenges, and Pittke stressed passion for the game, along with some other traits, can come in handy.

"It was only one set, so you need to get along very close, play as a team," he said. "Sometimes you have a lucky hand and sometimes you don't."

Pittke got to know most of the six other men's players through pickup play on the courts that began in March and had some familiarity with their styles coming into play.

The women's field was made up of six players, including the champion Weisserova.

Trampolinists off to nationals

Three Whistler Gymnastics bouncers will ply their trade in Edmonton next month.

Joe Davies, Sydney Lovell-Schmidt and Gabby Flynn were named to Team B.C. on May 20.

The three will compete at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships from June 1 to 4.

Meanwhile, six other competitors starred at the Western Canada Cup in Calgary last weekend.

Gigi Kranjc was the club's top performer, taking first in the double mini trampoline, third in tumbling and fourth on trampoline. Her scores in the double mini and trampoline events qualified her for the 2017 nationals. As well, Kranjc placed second out of 39 eligible athletes for the individual all-around award, finishing just 0.1 points out of first.

Jett Williams also stood out, placing second in the double mini with a score high enough to qualify him for the 2017 nationals. Alongside Matthew Roth-Wallman, the pair took second place in synchronized. Roth-Wallman also nabbed third place on the trampoline while winning the Level 2 double mini event.

Meanwhile, Matthew Susko and Luke Soane made finals in all their events, with Soane finishing fourth in both trampoline and synchronized trampoline and Susko notching fourth in double mini.

Ella Soane, meanwhile, faced off against the largest age category with 30 gymnasts, taking a highest finish of seventh in the double mini.

Smith to be honoured

Legendary downhill rider Stevie Smith, who died in an enduro motorcycle accident earlier this month, will be honoured by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), his sport's governing body.

The UCI took the suggestion of Whistler resident Dom Wrapson and will hold a memorial run at its Fort William event in June, though exact details have not been determined.

"Stevie's passing away has been a shock for the Mountain Bike community and beyond. This dedicated moment will provide a fitting honour to 'The Chainsaw' and will also celebrate his contribution to the MTB discipline," UCI posted on its Mountain Bike page on Facebook on May 19.

Others had suggested there be a tribute at Mont Ste. Anne, Que. during their race later this summer. A spokesperson confirmed there would be a tribute to him during their event.

"We definitely want to pay tribute to Stevie Smith during the Velirium, we just don't know yet how we will do that," Caroline Gagnon said in an email.