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2016-09-22 16:22:00 CEST

Top five stories at #TorontoFinals: Number 2

We countdown our favorite moments from the finals

Fully-bearded Ben and Chaim celebrate at Polson Pier. Photocredit: Mihau StetcuFully-bearded Ben and Chaim celebrate at Polson Pier. Photocredit: Mihau Stetcu

So far we’ve brought you numbers five, four and three and coming in at number two is…

Ben Saxton’s facial hair and other related Saxton/Schalk tomfoolery

In beach volleyball circles, Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula are known as ‘the entertainers’ – more so for their exciting brand of play on the sand which encompasses Carambula’s world-famous, jaw-dropping skyball skills.

But there was a team in Toronto at the Swatch World Tour Finals that entertained us on AND off the sand: Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk, the pride of Polson Pier.

Okay, so they didn’t start particularly well (they lost their first game), but they soon bounced back and, buoyed by the support of the fervent home fans on Center Court, they went on to triumph in their next three matches.

The duo lost in the semifinal to eventual runners-up Pedro Solberg/Evandro and came so, so close to winning a medal before just falling short in the bronze medal match against John Hyden and Tri Bourne.

Earlier in the week Ben was asked when his beard would be coming off. “Halloween,” he said. “And then I’ll make a costume out of it.”


But Ben isn’t really weird. He’s that kind-hearted guy you’d want to take home to meet your parents. He’s the kind of guy that if you asked him to shave his beard off for charity he wouldn’t think twice – even if it made him look a bit silly. No, especially if it made his look silly.

So that’s what happened. On Center Court – an impromptu shaving session from teammate Chaim.

Swatch Major Series on Twitter

Yep, THAT just happened #beardsgottago @bensaxton13 @saxtonschalk #torontofinals

He then conducted post-match interviews with what can only be accurately described as a half-beard.

Russell Reimer on Twitter

The Half-Beard Prince @BenSaxton13! I'll be making a $200 donation to @RightToPlayCAN! #beardsgottago

And when was all said and done after Super Sunday, Ben tidied his face up a little – and transported us back to a place in the 1980s. It was like a beach volleyball-playing Tom Selleck had appeared on our Twitter feed.

Ben Saxton on Twitter

The aftermath. Is this what you were expecting @Manifesto_Sport @SwatchMajors ? #BeardIsGone #TorontoFinals

But it was all done for a good cause because our Ben is such an all-round good guy. The stunt is all in the name for charity, with all the proceeds from this public hair-plucking raising money for charity Right To Play.

Right To Play works in 20 countries around the world to deliver education to children facing adversity. To find out more and to donate to Ben’s chosen charity click here.

Nice one, Ben! 

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