Each year the top coveted modeling agencies meet on the sands of Miami Beach to play a volleyball tournament like no other and this year proved to be no exception as the 5th Annual Wildfox Model Beach Volleyball Tournament took place from February 8 to February 9, 2014 culminating with a best out of three game finale for the championship cup.
The models known for their high fashion runway work, posing in commercial shoots and television parts teamed up with their respective agencies: Wilhelmina Models, Caroline Gleason Management, Ocean Models, Runways the Talent Group, Mega Models, Next Model Management, Elite Model Management, MC2 Model Management, Ford Models and BMG Models. Wildfox, the American vintage brand for dreamers created by childhood friends, Emily Faulstich and Kimberley Gordon sponsored the trendsetting swimsuit outfits for the models. The event attracted barefoot fashionistas escaping the winter seasonal weather and celebrities like Jamie Foxx.
However it was not just about the VIP Miami Cocktail Company and Heineken Light party inside the tent or even the fashion itself. Simply put, it was about the athletic competition played under traditional court volleyball rules. During the first day of the tournament, placements were assigned to each team given the level of wins without elimination. Mega Models, a local crowd favorite, was rumored to have held volleyball try-outs to choose their top rally contenders on the team. Despite placing a fierce game, Runways, the Talent Group beat Mega Models to place first on the standings. During the second day of the tournament, the athletic competition continued as Wilhelmina under the leadership of veteran player, Mark Fisher ranked to play the final match against their boutique agency contender, Runways the Talent Group.
The final match consisted of a best out of three series announced by the referees to be a 15-point game match instead of the traditional 25-point match for the win. Wilhelmina Models, a crowd favorite, dominated the first set. But Runways, the Talent Group lead with serves by fashion model, Fernanda, who kept her team in line to win the second set. But it wasn’t until the beginning of the third decisive game that the controversy ensued. One of the Runways, the Talent Group models complained to the referees about unfair scoring. The point system suddenly changed to 14 points for the win given time constraints on the tournament. “I’m from Georgia. I know the rules,” he argued in dismay. But despite these sudden changes, the team performed its best rally. Runways, the Talent Group beat Wilhelmina for the championship gold cup winning the 5th Annual Wildfox Model Beach Volleyball Tournament. The winners received a gold medal, watches and a year membership at Crunch Gym to prepare for next year’s tournament at Lummus Park in Miami Beach.
“I’ve come here for the past three years to watch the volleyball on the beach and every year is a treat,” said one spectator. “This year was extra special. Last year, Mega Models took the trophy, but this year the team I rooted for won.”