A picture of the tournament mascot ‘Birdy’, on which the players painted their national flags.

Australian Karen Lunn’s journey, proved to be the longest and most enduring. She commenced her trip with a Coolangatta to Sydney flight last Thursday. She reported: “I arrived in Abu Dhabi en route to London and was stuck there for two nights. Realising it was unlikely I would get to London and then Spain in time (for the tournament) I decided to buy a new ticket to Alicante via Doha and Madrid. Ninety hours door to door, five flights and five days later I finally made it. It was an expensive exercise but I wouldn’t have missed this event for anything. Karrie and I had a good practice day on Tuesday and are both playing well so should be a good week.”

Of the Britons, Melissa Reid and Karen Stupples drove from England, Breanne Loucks drove from Wales and Krystle Caithness drove from Scotland.

Reid explained her journey: “I drove from Loughborough, which was 1400 miles away and took 22 hours. It was punishment and got a bit tedious for the last six hours. We drove straight through. We left Loughborough at 2am on Monday and arrived around midnight so it was less than 24 hours. We took the ferry from Dover. We were pretty tired yesterday (Tuesday). My neck and back stiffened up. I have problems with my back anyway but a bit of practising and gym and it sorted itself out. A little bit of practise and I’m back to my normal self.

“I’m playing the course for the first time in the pro am and it looks nice. I think when they cut the greens and they run a bit faster they will be running a bit better. It’s in pretty good condition and the fairways are nice.”

Only one team, Germany, has seen a change. Bettina Hauert will be joined by the recent Lalla Meryem Cup winner Anja Monke, who has replaced Sandra Gal.