The open water tournaments were initially started by Matlock Water Polo’s long serving secretary, Martin Beeson, drawing on his experience of tours in Europe to Belgium, Holland and Germany, Martin organised the first tournament in 2000 at the Church Wilne Ski lake outside Long Eaton.
The tournament grew rapidly over the next few years and quic.kly relocated to the larger facilities at the National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont outside Nottingham.
Attracting teams from across the UK, Jersey, Holland and Portugal the event continued to grow with the final tournament attracting more than five hundred people and involving more than one hundred matches.
The matches, for both men and women’s teams were played in eight pools that were built in the main rowing lake at the centre, the event involved the construction of a ‘hospitality village’ with large marque, power supply, catering, and support facilities.
More than fifty volunteers from the Matlock, Ilkeston and South Derbyshire club’s worked tirelessly over the weekend, and for many planning hours before, to create a series of enjoyable and memorable events.
The events came to an end when Nottinghamshire County Council, the owners of the Holme Pierrepont site decided to privatise the facility.