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The SMASH Festival is hosting the Elite16 World Beach Pro Tour tournament at Parc Jean-Drapeau

July 25, 2023: This week, when the best beach volleyball players in the world descend upon Montreal, Quebec, for the Beach Pro Tour Elite16, a handful of Canadian teams will be looking to make their mark.

Daniel Dearing and Sam Schachter will play their first match on Thursday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. EDT against Germany’s Ehlers/Wickler, ranked ninth in the world. The Canadian duo (34th world ranking) will be looking to improve on their recent performance at the Challenge in Edmonton, Alberta, where they did not advance to the main draw. 

The men’s bracket will feature the top team in the world, defending Olympic champions Mol/Sorum of Norway, who possess a lethal combination of length, athleticism and technical proficiency. Another team to look out for: the uber-athletic Cherif/Ahmed from Qatar.

Coming off a 17th-place finish at the Challenge in Edmonton, Sarah Pavan/Molly McBain are hoping to bounce back in Montreal. Their first match should be a good test. At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Pavan/McBain will go against Kloth/Nuss of the United States, who sit third in the world rankings.

Brandie Wilkerson/Melissa Humana-Paredes, Canada’s highest-ranked women’s team, kick off pool play against sixth-ranked Sam/Stoon of the Netherlands. That’s at 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday. The Canadians will be looking to continue their recent hot-streak, with a string of top-five finishes and a gold medal at the Challenge event in Jurmala, Latvia.

Humana-Paredes, who’s from Toronto, reflected on the opportunity to defend home court in front of the Canadian fans. “It’s always an honour to play in Canada. It’s even more exciting to play in Montreal, a city that knows how to organize elite-level events and put on a show. They truly appreciate sports and support their athletes,” she said. “Brandie and I are both looking forward to it, as we work toward our qualification for Paris 2024. It’s also so rewarding to see Canada hosting more tournaments. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”

In the women’s main draw in Montreal, the top-ranked Brazilian duo of Duda/Ana Patricia will be a tough out. Then there’s second-ranked Hughes/Cheng of the U.S., who are gearing up for an Olympic run. 

On Wednesday, a bunch of Canadian teams will be battling it out in the qualifier, trying to secure a spot in the main draw. On the men’s side, that includes Jake MacNeil/Alex Russell, who fell in the preliminary round in Edmonton. And on the women’s side, Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara and Heather Bansley/Sophie Bukovec — following a solid ninth-place finish in Edmonton — will try to break through.

The SMASH Festival is hosting this Elite 16 World Beach Pro Tour tournament at Parc Jean-Drapeau. This unique event combines sport, entertainment and fun!

Action begins Wednesday, with the qualification round, and runs until Sunday, at Jean-Doré Beach on Notre-Dame Island, in Montreal. Get tickets here.

This year, Canada hosts three Beach Pro Tour events – the just-completed Challenge event in Edmonton (July 20-23), this Elite 16 tournament in Montreal from July 26 to 30 and a Futures event in Halifax in September. 

Volleyball Canada Media Contact:
Jackie Skender
Mobile: 613-794-7676