2021 French beach volleyball schedule announced

National championships in September

After staging only two events in 2020 due to the pandemic, the France Beach Volley Series National Circuit has announced an eight-stop schedule for the 2021 season featuring two gender-specific stops and six double-gender events.

A men's-only tournament opens the France Beach Volley Series National Circuit schedule with a May 14-16 event in Dijon. Double-gender competitions in Orleans (June 4-6), St. Martin De Re (June 11-13) and Montbeliard (June 19-20) will be played before a women's-only stop in Saintes (June 26-27).

The France Beach Volley Series National Circuit concludes with double-gender competition in Le Touquet (July 10-11), Dunkerque (July 16-18) and Anglet (August 6-8). The French National Championships are scheduled for September at a site to be determined.

The 2020 French National Championships were held in Dunkerque with Alexia Richard and Lezana Placette defeating Ophelie Lusson and Laura Longuet for the women’s title and Edouard Rowlandson and Youssef Krou beating Quincy Ayé and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat for the men’s crown.

2020 French National champions (left to right) Edouard Rowlandson, Lezana Placette, Youssef Krou and Alexia Richard

In addition to the France Beach Volley Series National Circuit, the Fédération Française de Volley will also be organising the French Beach Volleyball Cup that brings together, for a national final, the 12 best clubs from qualifying tournaments, for the Senior, Under-18, Under-15 and Under-13 age categories. The dates and sites for the competition are to be determined.

The French Beach Volleyball Cup's competition formula is based on direct oppositions between clubs. Each club is made up of a collective of two teams of two players of the same gender and authorised to play in the same age category. For the Senior and Under-18 division, in each round of the competition, teams 1 from each club meet, then teams 2. The first of the two clubs with two victories wins the round and in the event of a tie at one victory everywhere, a decisive set opposes a team composed of a member of team 1 and 2 from each club.

Led by Rowlandson, the Ré Beach Club defeated Nice Beach Volleyball for the Men’s Senior Division at the 2020 French Beach Volleyball Cup in Bordeaux. Montpellier Beach Volley won the Women’s 2020 French National Cup for the third consecutive year by defeating the Bordeaux Beach Chillers in the finals.

As for the teams representing France in the European Continental Cup in June, coach Lissandro Carvalho has not decided on the parings. Competing for France in the upcoming FIVB World Tour events in Mexico will be Ayé/Gauthier-Rat in the men’s division and Richard/Placette and Alexandra Jupiter/Aline Chamereau in the women’s competition.

Ranked 32nd on the FIVB World Tour, Ayé and Gauthier-Rat placed 17th at the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in Qatar earlier this month after winning their group by upsetting Americans Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena in pool play before losing to Italians Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai and the Grimalt cousins (Esteban/Marco) of Chile. Ayé and Gauthier-Rat finished ninth last September at the European Championships in Latvia.

Quincy Ayé (left) and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat of France

Ninth-place finishers at the 2020 European Championships, Jupiter and Chamereau are ranked 44th internationally with Richard and Placette 54th. The two teams competed in Doha with Richard and Placette placing 25th and Jupiter and Chamereau losing in the final round of qualifying.

Alexandra Jupiter (second from the left) and Lezana Placette (second from the right) of France captured an FIVB World Tour gold medal in September 2018 in Montpellier by defeating teams from Switzerland in the final four matches.
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