Before the Sao Paulo Grand Slam in Brazil, the FIVB had announced a World Tour update concernnig the events till the end of the year. The initially released calendar has once again been altered. Moreover, the whole concept of introducing a Grand Slam Final, originally reserved for Brazil, was postponed to the 2015 season.

The Parana Open, located at the Rio Parana river in Argentnia, has been confirmed and the city will host its first-ever international beach volleyball tournament from the 28th of October till the 2nd of November. It will be the second consecutive year for Argentina as a World Tour organizer. Last year’s Corrientes Grand Slam turned out to be a great success and was won by the eventual Tour champions from Latvia Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins. By the way, the two are currently also leading the 2014 points ranking and have a real chance to return to Argentina and grab another season title.

The major calendar update concerns the curtain closer. The ultimate event for 2014 was again given to South Africa, but this year it will take place in Mangaung. Mangaung is the Sesotho name of Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judical capital. The Mangaung Open will replace the Durban Open, but the dates of the last World Tour tournament will not be changed – December 9 – 14.

Ricardo-Emanuel top the Circuito Banco do Brasil rankings

The 2014-2015 season of the domestic Brazilian Beach Volleyball Tour is underway. The month-long pause prior to the Sao Paulo Grand Slam was used by local teams to compete in the first two stops of the circuit.

The 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalists won the opener in Vitoria at the end of August. In the final they outsmarted Bruno-Hevaldo in three sets (19-21, 21-18, 15-13). The bronze medal match was prevailed by Evandro and Vitor Felipe who beat Pedro Salgado and Alvaro Filho also in three sets (21-13, 18-21, 15-9).

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Ricardo-Emanuel appeared in another final in Niteroi at the Tour’s second event. This time the winners were Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (21-13, 14-21, 15-11). Gustavo and Allison Francioni grabbed the bronze against Pedro-Alvaro Filho (22-20, 21-17).

Varenhorst-Nummerdor’s Sao Paulo warm-up

The foundations for the Dutchmen’s triumph in Sao Paulo two weeks ago were laid in Azerbaijan. The Baku Masters was the final tournament of the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championship, a successor of the once famous and stronger NESTEA European Tour. In the Azerbaijan capital we could see many teams that receive fewer chances to shine during the World Tour. It also turned out to be the perfect practice opportunity for the newly formed team Christiaan Varenhorst and Reinder Nummerdor as they continued their impressive run a couple of weeks later in Brazil.

The Dutchmen overcame France’s Krou-Rowlandson for the gold medals in Azerbaijan in straigh sets (21-19, 21-18). The bronze medals went in Turkish hands as Gögtepe-Giginoglu beat the top-seeded Bykanov-Krasilnikov from Russia 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).

Pictures: Brazilian Volleyball Federation