Tang-Taye seeking to retain title in Weymouth
In less than five days, the first UKBT Grand Slam event of 2023 will take place in Weymouth, with the country's top players gathering on the south coast to fight for Britain's most prestigious beach volleyball title.
Amongst the competitors is last year's champion Pierre Tang-Taye, who alongside team mate Andrea Maggio will be looking to win a second consecutive title.
"Winning Weymouth with Andrea was a great feeling last year" says Tang-Taye. "We were really happy to win one of the biggest events on the tour, at a venue that has such great energy and with fantastic organisation.
"The win at Weymouth allowed us to qualify for the Grand Finals in Bournemouth, where we finished third, and so it was a big part of what made the beach season so great for our team."
Last year's final saw Tang-Taye and Maggio triumph over the team of Cole Durant and Aldo Rendon after a thrilling 3 set final in front of a packed arena. This season, Durant returns to Weymouth with a new partner in JJ van den Bogert, a pair who already have one title under their belt following their win at the Cardiff Open.
"Cole is a player we know really well from last year," says Tange-Taye when asked about the entry list this season. "JJ is also a great player so they will be formidable team this year. In addition, Enrique Bello and Josue Seekings are a team who have been playing a lot of international ball this year, as well as Harry Jones and Niko Gleed who just keep getting better and better. They are going to be very hard teams to play against."
Tang-Taye and Maggio enter the draw seeded 4th this weekend, but will not know their opposition until the end of Friday's qualification event. This season's Weymouth Grand Slam will be the 40th edition of the event, a fact that is not lost on Tang-Taye.
"Being able to make the podium of Weymouth in its 40th year would be something really special; we know that it will be the biggest event of the year and we are hoping to reclaim our title. We can't wait to engage with the crowds and the fans walking past, and its a great opportunity to bring some energy and see this spectacle take place.
"Andrea and I are really looking forward to the weekend, to not only see all of our friends there but also compete against some of the best beach volleyball players in the UK."
The main draw of the Weymouth Grand Slam will begin on Saturday 22nd July from 9:00am, concluding with the finals on Sunday afternoon from 2:00pm. You will be able to keep track of Pierre and Andrea's progress by following on all our social media channels.