When High Performance Director Jason Lochhead put out the SOS to Alaina Chacon to join the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach presented by Tip Top roadshow and partner Olivia MacDonald, Chacon leapt at the chance.
"I was more than happy to fly out for a couple of weeks and be that partner for her - I'd like to have her as my full time partner and we we've already tried to look into citizenship. She's a great person, great athlete, and I'm lucky to have her as partner for these three weeks.
Chacon and MacDonald were a formidable presence on the tour, winning the Mission Bay event, making the last two finals and playing a series of huge three set finals against the Beach Ferns.
"Coming into it, I had no idea what to expect, but the tour's exceeded all expectations I might have had. It's just been so much fun. I don't want to leave. So I'm actually staying another week and coaching the features event for the New Zealand team. So I'm pretty excited about that, this is my first coaching experience on the World Tour, which is awesome add to the resume."
"What I love is that it's really competitive, but after the games everybody's kind of chatting it up and joking around with each other - I love that, and it's good for me to be around that, I've really, really enjoyed it," said Alaina.
"It's been awesome to have Alaina out, to have that level come play and challenge our to NZ teams that much, those are the games we need to have. Those are the games our teams need to play to get as good as they can," said Jason Lochhead.
Chacon is now on her way back to the United States, to resume her coaching work with Florida State Seminoles.
"It's been a pretty sweet gig, I get to work with with Niles and Nico Santa who were generous enough to give me another week out here. Big shout out for them, because without them I don't get these opportunities. I love that team and programme, because I also train I'm back out there in Tallahassee, I get to jump in with the girls, so it's sweet, I absolutely love it."
Photos by www.phototek.co.nz