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2017-05-23 09:00:00 CET

Why the stars love Gstaad

It’s not just the fans who can’t get enough of this alpine paradise

Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart will be flying the flag for Switzerland this summer. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart will be flying the flag for Switzerland this summer. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.

For beach fans, the Major in the Mountains is one of the highlights of the beach volleyball season – and with good reason.

But what makes the Gstaad Major the best in the eyes of the players?

We take a closer look at why the stars of the sand keep coming back to this blissful Swiss paradise year in, year out.

The crowd

It’s family fun all the way in Gstaad. The packed Center Court is the place to be. Amid the thousands of red and white flags waved in unison and the chorus of “Hopp Schwiiz”, the Swiss fans, young and old, are among the most passionate and respectful in the business. Even when you’re a player facing a team from the host nation, no-one is going to throw a cheese wheel at you, you’re going to be appreciated even if you win… and that’s something the athletes truly appreciate.

Swatch Major Series on Twitter

Big 👏👏👏 to that amazing crowd 📢🎺 here ‼️🔝☀️🏔 #GstaadMajor https://t.co/IJZpYz6xRP

The trophies

Cowbells! Yes, you read right, cow bells, as in the bells usually found hanging around cows necks that prevents Mini Moo from getting lost in the mountains. If a list of top dual purpose trophies for athletic activities existed, cow bells would take top spot – it rings! It might be a little bit clichéd, but who cares? It rings!

The Gstaad cowbells are one of the most prized trophies on the international beach tour and securing one is high on all players’ wish lists. Have you seen their faces when they are standing on the podium ringing loudly them together as they pose for photographs? It really is a sight to be behold. They love them, and so do we. And we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want one for the office…

Swatch Major Series on Twitter

That's the ring of the champions Evandro/Pedro! @cbv 🔔🐮🇧🇷 #GstaadMajor #cowbells

The history

Gstaad is steeped in beach volleyball history. 16 men’s and 17 women’s tournaments have been held in this Swiss idyll with the first coming back in the year 2000. During the course of its association with beach volleyball, Gstaad has played host to a series of important competitions – none more so than the 2007 World Championships. That year America scooped both golds – Dalhausser/Rogers for the men and Walsh Jennings/May-Treanor for the women. No wonder Kerri loves this place.

The view

Okay, so players really should be concentrating on watching the ball and the whereabouts of their partner and the opposition while on court, but with such a breathtaking backdrop to the Center Court, who can blame them if their minds wonder a little during gameplay? It really does make this Swatch Major Series stop unforgettable. Remember guys and girls – keep your eyes on the ball! Keep your eyes on the court!

Save the Date #GstaadMajor

The Porec Major returns for a third year in a row: https://ch.swatchmajorseries.com/ 04.07.17 - save the date

The Beach Village

After all the spiking and diving and setting and serving and bumping and passing, players and fans need some R&R (especially fans – we get you, bottoms get sore from all that Mexican waving and cheering) but fear not! We’ve got your backs – players too, in fact, we’ve dedicated an entire village for that sole purpose – namely the Beach Village. Your very own Shangri la, or oasis if you will. For more information, click here.

See you soon and here’s to a fabulous 2017 tournament.

Gstaad it’s over to you.

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