By Patrick Holiday
It is my somewhat sad duty to report on the TAN Naked Getaway Hinchinbrook Island Nude Water Volleyball International Championships.
Only “sad,” as I was part of the Republican Southern States Nude Water Volleyball Team (RSSNWVBT) who, sadly, but with such fun and energy, were only “slightly” defeated by the overwhelming skills (and height) of the Royalists Northern States Nude Water Volleyball Team (RNSNWVBT)—the RNSNWVBT winning the championship three years running.
But winning is not everything particularly as we were all there to have fun and that we did. Some of you may well remember the TAN Issue 47 article on this event and the gusto with which both teams trained and prepared for the annual competition, well the rematch was just as much fun with each team competitive with much banter throughout the week. As usual very parochial, particularly between the northern and southern states with teams being supplemented by members from other states, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory with several international players from Scotland and New Zealand being sourced for their extensive nude water volleyball skills, but mainly their ability to have fun.
The Hinchinbrook Island Nude Water Volleyball International Championships took on a new sense of excitement as the Golden Orb Nude Volleyball Trophy was introduced and up for the taking by the winning side. A truly magnificently commissioned piece of art work created from locally scavenged and recycled materials found washed up onto the Island by intrepid wandering TAN Naked Hinchinbrookians, hand crafted by other artistic and creative Hinchinbrookians. This much-treasured trophy – ruby jewelled encrusted goblet with mounted golden orb was unveiled on the first day following the ribbon cutting by both local and international identities. The Golden Orb Nude Water Volleyball Trophy becoming one of the main drivers for such fierce competition; with fun, banter and true naturist camaraderie as the key reasons for playing. A lovely hand crafted local timber art piece was also commissioned to be awarded to the runners up trophy.
As with most teams, (especially observed recently with the 2010/11 Ashes series and the Australian Cricket Team) the nude water volleyball teams were no exception needing to make some changes to the final line up teams. At times substitutes were required as Barramundi fishing got in the way of day two of this prestigious international challenge, a particularly poor state of affairs with three key RSSNWVBT registered players, including the captain deserting the team. This affectively provided RNSNWVBT the weak link they needed to hone in on to bring the overall score to one all with the final to be played on the Friday.
Fortunately the event organisers were able to once again secure the service of the same internationally renowned nude water volleyball referee, Pixie. Pixie’s in-depth knowledge of the game, her proven ability to score and add and subtract points, her clever wit and assertive abilities kept the game on track, full of banter and many laughs, but with no politically incorrect jokes as one player found out.
Scoring in the first game had been close but the RSSNWVBT held a slight advantage and won the first game of the series, the RNSNWVBT clearly winning game two as mentioned above mainly due to a depleted RSSNWVBT side.
Unfortunately just towards the end of game one the volleyball was spiked out of the pool only to be punchered by a thorn in the surrounding gardens, this created a slow leak but managed to allow the game to be completed, no team being disadvantaged. Island staff was unable to find another volleyball and were unable to assist in repairing the damaged ball. So intrepid and resourceful Hinchinbrookians took it upon themselves to operate on the severally injured ball, a quick dab of waterproof silicon (from an unknown source) some electrical tape (from a similar unknown location) and the use
of a 19th century vehicle tyre pump allowed the series to continue. With a little bit of ingenuity and a little dab we had a beautiful repair job and a good as new as Phillip stated “Lucile Ball” to continue our game.
Friday came around and “trumpets” sounded to call teams and barrackers to the venue and Pixie, after a thorough inspection and count of all players, announced “Game on!”
The last game of the final series was wild and willing with the first end of three games close but eventually going to the RNSNWVBT, the first end of game two going exceedingly well for the RSSNWVBT until we changed ends (deep water again) the RNSNWVBT belted ahead and also took both ends of the third game with ease, eventually taking the game 21 -13.
The game was followed by the presentation of the Golden Orb Nude Water Volleyball Trophy to RNSNWVBT, proudly accepted by their team captain; presentation of the runners up trophy, photographs and a glass of wine all round and much merriment and fun continue into the afternoon. Well done to all!
On a sad note this may well be the last of the TAN Naked Getaway Hinchinbrook Island event including the Nude Water Volleyball International Championships, at least at Hinchinbrook Island (may not be also), as we are not sure if there will be a 2011 TAN Naked Getaway. However regardless we have had great fun and many laughs over the years with great naturist camaraderie and friendships formed. We are sure if the Hinchinbrookians gather elsewhere for example if a mob were to turn up at Bermagui Armands Beach for the March Fun in the Sun Day or some other fun, and sun filled venue we probably could secure a net, a ball, a Pixie and Game On!
Well done and thanks to all for the absolutely funtastic time, laughter and spirit of the game. Catch you all somewhere!