SEASIDE - A little coastal fog and a few clouds may have kept some fans away the first two days, but it wasn't enough to stop the annual Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament from rolling on in its 21st year.

A record 640 teams took part in this year's festival which culminated Sunday under sunny skies on the sandy beaches in front of the Turnaround.

Teamed with Vero Baudon of France, Ilga Celmins (right) of Santa Cruz, Calif., competes and wins her ninth championship Saturday afternoon.While the center court fans were doing their best impression of an MTV beach party during Saturday's Open finals, there were a few local teams which found success in other divisions, both Saturday and Sunday.

One name that kept popping up in the finals and semifinals was Huntsman.

The husband-wife team of Eric and Angie Huntsman placed fourth in the coed open competition, while the Huntsman's niece, Chelsea, took second with her partner in the

LORI ASSA - The Daily Astorian

Crowds surrounding the Center Court sing-a-long to "Y.M.C.A." during a break between games.Parent/Child division. Angie Huntsman came back Sunday and teamed up with Californians Leanne Haarbauer, Rachel Errthum and Sheri Leckman to win the Women's Open 4 title.

And finally, there was Caleb Huntsman, who teamed up with Paul Stelson to win the championship in the boys' 18-and-under division.It was the first title for the talented duo, both students at Seaside High School.

From the way they cruised through the competition, it may be the first of many championships to come for the team of Huntsman-Stelson, who were challenged just once in nine matches.Top 10 list of overheard commentsThere's just no room to mention all of highlights from the world's largest beach volleyball tournament, so instead, we made a list of the top 10 things overheard at this year's event in Seaside.

Top 10 things overheard at the 2002 Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament

No. 10: "Nice dig, Mrs. Mayor!"

No. 9: "Dude! You're getting sand on my fruit kabob!"

No. 8: "I've never seen so much beer and bikinis at a gem and mineral show."

No. 7: "Do those windows on that new Trendwest Resort comply with the guidelines set by the local Historic Landmark Commission?"

No. 6: "Why'd they put up a statue of William Clark and Buddy Ebsen on the Turnaround?"

No. 5: "Skipper! Professer! Ginger and Mary Ann! Castaways division on court 33!"

No. 4: "This is the best Scandinavian Festival ever."

No. 3: "Hey you 20,000 kids, get off my lawn!"

No. 2: "Everyone's waving their hands in the air, and they're waving 'em like they just don't care."

And the No. 1 thing overheard at this year's Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament: "We just ran all the way from Mt. Hood - where's the finish line?"

Competing under the name "Underwear Optional," they won five matches in pool play Friday, and four Saturday in the championship bracket.

In their closest match of the tournament, Huntsman and Stelson edged past the Canadian Sensations 15-13 in a pool play contest.

The Seaside pair met up with the Canadians again in a championship bracket match Saturday, with Huntsman and Stelson winning a little easier this time, 15-7.

LORI ASSA - The Daily Astorian

Vero Baudon and Ilga Celmins are all smiles after winning the women's open final.Huntsman and Stelson expected to see the Canadians again in the final, but instead were matched up against the Tiny Hinees, and won easily, 15-1.

"We wanted to play (the Canadians)," Huntsman said. "They were the one's that got the closest. They played really well that day.

"Tough serving," won it for Huntsman and Stelson, Huntsman said. "The last match was mostly serving, and our shots were working. But mostly it was the jump-serving."

Stelson said, "You don't have to hit too much in 18-and-under. Just hit the ball three times - that's all you need to do."

Still, when they were on, Huntsman's wicked jump serves were almost unreturnable.

Just to be safe, the two put it a lot of practice time the week prior to the tournament.

"We were down here seven hours a day for the whole week leading up to the tournament," Stelson said.

About the only thing Huntsman and Stelson can't agree on is what division to play in next year.

GARY HENLEY - The Daily Astorian

Caleb Huntsman serves up his patented jump serve, which helped him and partner Paul Stelson win the 18-and-under boys division.

"We played novice one year and we didn't do too well, because we were pretty small," Huntsman said. "Next year we'll probably play A."

Stelson said, "He wants to play A - I want to play novice."

There was a time when the two didn't even have a division to play in.

"We've played in it for three or four years," Stelson said. "Our first year we played in the girls 18-and-under, and after that they had a boys 18-and-under division."

Other locals fairing well in this year's tournament included Astoria's Diana Lilley and Jenny Ratigan winning the Women's Masters championship;

Regulars (and tournament pioneers) Joe Hart and Hugh Stelson placed fourth in the Men's Golden Masters; while the father-daughter team of Tom and Kari Wilson tied for fifth in the Parent-Child division.

Saturday's Men's Open final was won by the team of Tate Walthal and Kjell Nilssen, who defeated Matt Mueller and Scott Bernbaum.

The winners of the Women's Open was the tandem of Vero Baudon and Ilga Celmins, as they defeated Michelle Patton and Shannon Sauer at center court.


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