Crowds were scant and the fog lingered during the first few hours of the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan Beach Tuesday as bronzed bodies, some sporting outlandish team uniforms such as Scottish kilts, French maid outfits and royal red capes, took to the sand to compete.
By mid-afternoon, the crowd had increased to an estimated 3,000, turning the tournament a tad more spirited and festive but still a far cry from its 2011 madness in which approximately 50,000 people hit town for the first day of the event.
Longtime residents said the crowd and competitors seemed younger than usual, probably because the tournament, for the first time, is taking place mid-week, when many amateur players are working, .
Suzanne Surtees, a Manhattan Beach resident, has watched the tournament every year for the past 20. She likes to watch her friends compete, she said, and added that she was sad that some of them could not participate this year because the tournament takes place in the middle of the work week.
Manhattan Beach resident Bobby Masudian said that during past tournaments he would have to push his way through the hordes of people walking The Strand. "It's kind of sad. I feel like they took the teeth out of it. It used to be chock-a-block, with rows of tents, lots of music and fun."
Said Linda McLoughlin Figel, one of the owners of , which closed during the 6-Man last year to avoid the rowdy crowds, "Today’s business was a little slower than what we expect on a Tuesday as a result of tougher than usual parking but otherwise, we weren’t really affected by the 6-Man one way or another."
Check out our gallery for photos from day one of the tournament, and stay tuned to Patch for more detailed coverage of the tourney.