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Brighton & Hove Beach Classic 2004
POSTPONED Brighton & Hove 
Brighton Classic Beached

Next week's Brighton & Hove Beach Squash Classic has suffered a last-minute postponement.

"It is with great regret that we have to announce today the postponement of this year's event," the organisers announced today.

"Despite all the efforts by the management team, due to a failure by a third party contractor at the eleventh hour, we have been left with no alternative other than to postpone the event.

"However we are delighted to announce that all the event sponsors have pledged their full support in restaging this tournament. Brighton and Hove City Council have given us their full support along with the official venue sponsor The De Vere Grand Hotel."

The event had attracted a strong field of men and women from the PSA and WISPA World Tours. The organisers plan to stage the 2005 Brighton & Hove Beach Classic from 01-06 August next year.

The promoters apologised for any inconvenience caused, but stressed that "we are committed to resolving the issues encountered to ensure that next year's event is a massive success on the beach."




You can forgive top seed John White if his mind is not totally focussed on the build-up to next week’s Brighton and Hove Beach Classic – for his wife is expecting twins any day now!

World No.5 White, the hardest hitter in the history of squash, might be suffering from a few sleepless nights before he appears in the first round against a qualifier next Wednesday (August 4th).

His American wife, Susie, is due to be induced this week as the couple double their number of offspring in one go. They already have a son, Tyler (6) and daughter Kyra, who will be four on Tuesday.

Amazingly, White reveals that he has managed to maintain his summer training schedule despite this domestic upheaval. He said: “I have managed to get a lot more done than last summer, actually. It’s all down to having a good routine.

“I have been seeing Vaughan Williams, my fitness coach at Nottingham University, three times a week for six weeks and slowly getting back on court to play more matches. Before that I was just going on court once a week to keep my eye in.

“When the children were both still at school it was easier to build my training schedule around their school times, so I could pick them up at 3.30 every day and allow Susie to have some rest.

“I am feeling sharp at the moment and have been working on three key areas, strength, endurance and speed, so I am now looking forward to some tournament play.”

World No.5 White is seeded to meet rising star James Willstrop in the Brighton final and is full of admiration for the way the young Yorkshireman has cemented his place in the upper echelons of the world game.

He said: “I rate James very highly. All the top guys know they have to get their wins over him now because he keeps improving and is certainly heading for the top.

“At the age of 20 he has a lot more experience than other junior players emerging into the senior ranks. He has a great reach, great strength, and is very strong mentally for someone so young. He has climbed to 13 in the world so you that you can’t muck around at all with a player like him.

“In training he gives it 100 per cent and knows what has to be done. With world No.2 Lee Beachill as a training partner and the knowledge that his father (leading coach Malcolm Willstrop) gives him, he is emerging as the leader of the pack behind the top guys.

“I am glad that he is in the other half of the draw because I am due to meet him in the second round of the English Open in Sheffield the week after.”

Looking elsewhere in the draw, White knows he faces a serious threat from Malaysian star Ong Beng Hee, the No.4 seed at Brighton who recently won the Asian Championship for a third consecutive time.

White added: “Bengy was like James in some ways. He was world junior champion and quickly got to the world top seven by the age of 21, but in the last couple of years he has lost his way a little bit and has found it hard to stay there.

“He actually went a long time without winning a first round match in major PSA tournaments. There is no doubt that he has got the lot. He’s got the talent, he’s got everything, but sometimes it’s just a mental thing. He’s realised that, having got near the top, you have to be an extra two or three steps ahead of everybody else to stay there, because everyone else wants to beat you and he has struggled to cope with that.

“But I’m expecting him to come out firing at Brighton because he’s kept busy in the summer playing the Asian championship and then had a nice break at home with his family. That will have done him a lot of good because I know from my own experience that with all the travelling we do on the world tour that it’s always good to get home and recharge the batteries.”

White’s training partner at Nottingham, Simon Parke, is due to face fellow Yorkshireman Willstrop in the Brighton quarter-finals and White added: “Simon seems to have got his fitness back after the injury problems he had last year. We have played each other twice in the last week or so and he took me out in five games in the first one and then I did the same to him in an hour and ten minutes last week, so he is obviously getting fitter and stronger.”

White is the game’s hardest hitter after being timed at an astonishing 172mph in the Canary Wharf Classic earlier this year, and, after the birth of the twins, he is looking forward to delivering high speed entertainment to the crowds at Brighton next week.

John with Tyley and Kyra
John with Kyra and Tyler


Suzie Pierrepont is looking forward to her battle on the beach with Sussex colleague Linda Elriani in the first round of the Brighton and Hove Beach Classic on August 4.

Brighton-based Suzie will be flying in from the USA a few days before the tournament after spending some time coaching and training in the USA.

At 19, Suzie knows she will be facing a tough time against the world No.7 from nearby Eastbourne but is looking forward to the experience.

Speaking from New Hampshire, where she is coaching at Dartmouth College, Suzie said: “Drawing Linda in the first round is unfortunate, especially as we train together, but at least I didn’t have to fly a few thousand miles around the globe to do it!

“It’s also a great experience for me as it’s the first time I've drawn a top ten player in a WISPA event.

“I have a huge amount of respect for Linda and everything she has achieved. I came through as a junior watching Linda play, as have the other Sussex girls who are coming through, and she has set the bar for all of us.

“She made me realise just how hard you have to work to get to the level at which she plays. When I first made the decision to play full time I asked her what her thoughts were and she gave me great advice. I ask her advice a lot and she always tells me exactly what she thinks!”

Suzie added: “I’m currently coaching at the Power Squash Academy at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, on squash summer camps. There are a few players here coaching as well, including Canadian Katie Patrick, who is also playing in the tournament, so we’re getting lots of training in as well.”

Linda Elriani might be a strange name for squash fans to get used to. The former Miss Charman recently married the French international Laurent Elriani at Alfriston Parish Church and this will be her first tournament using her married name.

Speaking from Kuala Lumpur, where she is No.2 seed in the Malaysian Open, Linda confirmed that she was looking forward to meeting Suzie and was full of compliments about her progress in the game. She said: “Suzie is one of the strongest juniors to come through into the professional ranks for some time. She is now gaining some valuable experience playing in WISPA ranking events.

“She volleys well and takes the ball short well, and uses her height to her advantage. Once she has got some good training and tournaments under her belt I think she can go a long way.

“It’s a shame that we’ve been drawn to play one another in the first round in Brighton as we are both local and we sometimes train together at the Corals Club in Brighton.

“I will obviously treat the match as I do with any other and concentrate on sticking to my game plan.”

John White, the biggest hitter in the world of squash, today promised to make it hot on the beach when he confirmed his appearance in the Brighton and Hove Beach Classic, which kicks off the European season in style next month.

The new tournament runs from August 1-7 and promises to provide some spectacular squash in a stunning location. The portable glass court is being housed in a marquee on the beach directly beneath the world-famous five-star De Vere Grand Hotel, which is hosting the event along with Brighton and Hove City Council.

Tournament Director Alan Thatcher said: "We are delighted to have a player of John White's calibre in the draw. He was world number one earlier in the year and although he has slipped down the rankings to five he is still one of the biggest draws in the game.

"He plays the most attacking brand of squash at the top level and his appearances always guarantee exciting and entertaining squash.

"I am sure Sussex squash fans will be delighted to see White in action. During the recent Canary Wharf Classic he was timed at 172mph. That's 22mph faster than Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick's fastest serve."

White, 30, is a real sporting globetrotter. Born in Australia, he now represents Scotland and lives in Nottingham. He is facing a busy summer schedule, with the defence of his English Open title in Sheffield coming two weeks after the Brighton tournament. His American wife, Susie, is also expecting twins. The couple already have two children.

The De Vere Grand Hotel is providing a family suite for the Whites during their stay in Brighton. The prize money may not match Wimbledon, but at last squash players are receiving five-star treatment in some quarters.

Squash Gets Down
On The Beach ...

A new tournament on the international squash calendar, the Brighton and Hove Beach Classic, will be launched in the UK this summer.

The spectacular event will take place on the Sussex town's seafront below the world-famous De Vere Grand Hotel from 03-07 August.

The $23,000 PSA Tour event for men, and $15,000 WISPA World Tour tournament for women, will be contested on the all-glass court housed in a marquee on the beach.

The Brighton and Hove Beach Classic will be hosted by the De Vere Grand Hotel and Brighton and Hove City Council, with Butlins the Associate Sponsors and PowerPlay Sports the event retailers.

"We are delighted to be bringing world-class squash to Brighton and Hove, especially as Mark and I are both from Sussex," said promoters Alan Thatcher and Mark Bellinger. "The beach will be a fantastic venue and is sure to create a tremendous atmosphere throughout the tournament.

"We have received enormous support from Brighton and Hove City Council and look forward to working in partnership with them to build this tournament into one of the major events on the world calendar in years to come," Thatcher added.

"Having a household name like Butlins as one of our Associate Sponsors is extremely pleasing and again we look forward to developing a relationship with them that will last for many years."

Gawain Briars, Chief Executive of the PSA, added: "We are delighted to welcome another top class squash event in England. The innovative style which the promoters are bringing to the event will be a positive move for squash in the UK."

WISPA Executive Director Andrew Shelley echoed Briars' upbeat sentiments: "Any event that brings squash to the wider public has to be great news."


Linda Elriani









John White



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