Winning becomes a habit in Classic

18:17, Dec 17 2012
Alex Barlow
TIPTOES: Alex Barlow is up on her toes to return a shot during the mixed doubles semifinal of the Christmas Classic beach volleyball tournament at Ngamotu Beach on Sunday.

New Plymouth's Nigel Hales and Mitch Nabarosi have won the men's pairs grade at the annual Christmas Classic tournament for the second consecutive year.

In perfect conditions at New Plymouth's Ngamotu Beach on Sunday, Hales and Nabarosi went through the competition unbeaten. Faris Petty and Jaymz Tito finished second.

Natasha Hales and Sarah Cox took the major honours in the women's grade for the second consecutive year, also going through unbeaten, with Nicole Hone and Sarah Lace second.

The mixed pairs grade final saw a close tussle between Michelle Welsh and partner Josh Blundell against Alex Barlow and Phil Gayton. At the end of ordinary playing time, the scores were locked at 27-27, forcing the game into extra time.

At 29-28, Barlow and Gayton served for the match but a service error forced a side-out, which resulted in a 31-29 win to Welsh and Blundell, who had lost earlier in the day in pool play 27-28 to Barlow and Gayton.