ISSA Batrane and Jess Grimson both created history in a sun-soaked 37th Weymouth Beach Volleyball Classic.

Batrane won his fourth successive men’s title with new partner Freddie Bialokoz, while Grimson won her third title with new partner Daisy Mumby.

The event was hailed a major success despite having to abide by Covid restrictions.

Grimson and Mumby defeated Anaya Evans and Isabelle Tucker in the final.

At 16, Tucker was the youngest ever finalist and Evans is in the USA for most of the year having gained a scholarship in Beach Volleyball at Grand Canyon University. The English team of Grimson and Mumby showed their experience in the first set, dominating throughout to take the set 21-16.

However, Tucker and Evans fought back in the second set and one of the best sets of women’s beach volleyball ever seen in Weymouth took place.

Evans and Tucker had nine set points but could not convert any of them and after just two match points Grimson and Mumby took the set 30-28 to win the match 2-0 and were given a standing ovation from the crowd.

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The men’s final followed a similar pattern as Batrane and Bialokoz were playing against fellow England players Sam Dunbavin and Niko Gleed.

Batrane’s amazing hitting combined with Bialokoz’s exceptional blocks dominated the first set and they won 21-15.

However, just like the women Dunbavin and Gleed provided stiffer opposition in the next set which Batrane and Bialokoz just held on to win 21-19 after a tough battle.

Dorset Echo: Niko Gleed, left, tries to evade the defence of Freddie Bialokoz Niko Gleed, left, tries to evade the defence of Freddie Bialokoz

These finals were the culmination of three days of volleyball activity on the beach.

In all, 112 players took part in the searing heat of the weekend and left Weymouth determined to return next year.

Losing semi-finalists Giulia Rastelli and Agnieszka Adamek from London summed up the feelings of the players when they posted that the event was “absolutely amazing” and “the best venue in the country for beach volleyball”.

Event directors Graeme Sawyer and Pete Bennett said: “We’re really pleased with how it had all gone and although the weather in some ways was ideal the heat was a concern at times in respect of players’ safety.”

They added: “We obviously had to put a lot of mitigations in place for Covid and we hope that these were not to obvious for the watching public, for instance we could only fill the seating to 50 per cent, the players were not allowed to handshake etc at the end of matches, we weren’t allowed to have ball people and everybody was hand sanitising at every opportunity, but we are confident that we created a very safe environment for everyone.”

They were also keen to point out the importance of the great support they received from We Are Weymouth and Weymouth Town Council without whom the event may not have gone ahead and they hope that the minimum of 300 people involved in the event who came to the town for the weekend will have gone a long way to show that the support was worthwhile.

The Classic is part of the UK Beach Tour and is one of only four Grand Slam events held each year with the other all being at capital cities: Edinburgh; Cardiff and London.

Sawyer and Bennett have already started planning the 2022 event for the 16th and 17th of July.