28 of April, 2009Statement from the Millennium Series Re the Fuengirola Beach Cup
By now I am sure all are aware that the first event of the 2009 Series was hit by the worst weather experienced in the area for the last 15 years on the second day of the event. With gusts of wind recorded near by at 100 km/h it is no surprise that play had to be suspended on safety grounds at 1.00pm on Saturday afternoon and no further play was possible that day.
When it was confirmed that 5 fields could be put back in to play on the Sunday the decision to suspend play for division 1, SPL and then inlay CPL was taken as all teams had completed two matches each, so this was the fairest point to stop and we will play all rescheduled games in Div 1, SPL & CPL in a way which has the least impact on the affected teams. Also the priority was given to complete division 3 and division 2 matches as these teams would predominately not be in Germany. Further details of exactly how this will take place will follow after careful consideration and consultation is given to all aspects.
I would just like to add my heart felt thanks on behalf of the Millennium for the incredible support and understanding from the vast majority of the teams and trade who where there and could tell that there was nothing to be done but sit it out. I would also thank the local council of Fuengirola who really helped to ensure we could continue on Sunday and of to the incredible effort of the millennium crew and refs as well as those who rolled up there sleeves at 4.30am and had 5 fully functional fields up and running by 8.30am .
At this point I would take the opportunity to squash rumours that the major reason for play being stopped was because the new field system was not good enough for the job. The exact opposite is the case. The 3 inflatable fields continued to play for 30 minutes longer than the standard pole system of fields 4 and 5 as play was suspended on these due to poles being snapped clean in half by the wind. Play was stopped on safety grounds as there was the real danger of injury to players from flying debris from tents, tables etc. The inflatable fields were deflated in 2 minutes and sustained no damage. It is a fact that if the Millennium had been using the traditional netting system there would have been no chance of any play at all on Sunday as there would have been no fields left. The only delay to rebuilding the inflatable fields was the fact that the turf had actually been lifted by the wind and needed to be reset. After this the netting system, which was completely undamaged, took 5 minutes to re-inflate.
The continued filming by Eurosport was a great success and we look forward to some great footage from them, I think the weather will make for some very interesting programming, and let us not forget the magnificent success of the first live web cast by Spirit of Paint who had more than double the anticipated viewing figures which was fantastic.
It is of great testament to our staff, refs, the cooperation and understanding of the players and the now proven success of the new netting system that all division 3 and division 2 matches were completed in total.
It is a great shame that nature should conspire against us all in such a way, but much larger events such as Formula 1, tennis and golf suffer in just the same way as we have just done. The show always goes on. This will not prevent us from returning to such a fantastic venue with such a great party atmosphere. Despite the weather this atmosphere very much continued with the teams who knew they would not be taking any further part taking advantage of the many bars which saw some serious partying.
As I say further news and confirmation of how the missing matches of the league teams will be played will be issued shortly.
See you all in Germany and if any of you have a direct line to mother nature please have a word.
CEO Millennium Series