Several truckloads of soft dune sand was temporarily spread on Oriental Bay Beach to make life less abrasive for competitors in the International Beach Volleyball event on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January.
Relatively coarse sand was used when Oriental Bay was redeveloped in 2003 so that it would not be picked up and blown about by strong winds. However the sand has proved hard on the skin of competitors at previous beach volleyball events – so it will be temporarily covered with a layer of finer sand.
Wellington City Council Events Manager John Dawson says when competitors dive for the ball the existing sand can act "a bit like sandpaper – it's not pleasant".
The dune sand was trucked in by contractors and placed by front-end loader.
This montage is of the women's final between Susan Blundell and Anna Scarlett of New Zealand and Camiliia Saldanha and Lili Maestrini of Brazil.
REPORT FROM THE DOMINIONPOST
Scarlett and Susan Blundell went down fighting in yesterday's final. After losing the first set 21-18, they fought back to claim the second 21-19, before losing the third 15-8. "We're athletes and we're competitors, so we want to win. It's not nice coming third or second, but we've got to take the positives out of it, which are things are coming together slowly," Scarlett said.
"We've got time on our side looking ahead to 2012. This is a frustrating time, because I want to be good now and I know that we can be." The pair are aiming to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012, and will embark on the world tour for the first time this year. "It's going to be a huge learning curve this world tour. There are so many countries that play it, the skill level is far higher than us, but we do have the talent to get there.
"For us this year is going away and learning, and writing everything down -- come back at the end of the year and say we need to do this and this and we'll succeed in 2012. "It's a long journey. You can't be awesome straight away, which I want to be, but we'll get there," Scarlett said with a grin. The former Silver Ferns defender said she was focused on her consistency and ability to stay in the game, and aimed to play more intelligently. She was satisfied, however, that she and Blundell were able to stick close to the Brazilian duo of Camilla Saldanha and Lili Maestrini.