Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inaugural Wake Ski Open

Press Release from HO Sports

For the first time in history a Wakeski event was held this past weekend, September 5th, 2009 and from all who participated, it was a huge success! The event covered both Wake and Cable riding and was held at the world renowned OWC in Orlando, Florida. The Inaugural Wakeski Open was held by a co-op from the event sponsors: HO Wakeskis, Stereo Wakeskis, the Orlando Watersports Complex and Performance Ski & Surf.

The international field included 11 skiers from Norway and the US, some of which had no Watersports background prior to Wakeskiing and some who have deep roots in the Show Ski world and competitive Watersports. Wakeskiers Kristian Hvaara (Nor), Bjorn Jokerud (Nor), Dave Vogt (US), Brian Robbins (US), Pete Kuhlmann (US), Chad Buechler (US), Dan Olsen (US), Garrett Pruse (US), Justin Pruse (US), Brad Satterlee (US) & Ryan Jones (US) were amped to be part of the sport’s first competition.

The event began behind the boat and the level of skiing blew the judges away. A variety of gainers, rolls, front flips, 180s and 360s were thrown down to make the final heat of 4. Ryan Jones won the best trick award for his massive Raley that he booted in the Semis. Style master Dave Vogt landed huge late 180s into the flats and a few of the skiers were close on back 5s. The final heat was comprised of Ryan Jones, Pete Kuhlmann, Brian Robbins and Chad Buechler, where Chad claimed the top spot in the first ever Wakeski competition followed by Pete Kuhlmann and Ryan Jones.

The Cable portion of the Wakeski Open started after lunch and began with 4 heats of 3 skiers where the top 2 advanced. Each skier got 3 laps around the park and two pick ups, giving them ample time to showcase their barrage of tricks over all of the obstacles and kickers. The park was graced with the presence of some of the biggest names in Wakeboarding who were there to take in the action, including Parks Bonifay, Erik Ruck, Chris O’Shea & Keith Lyman, while other wakeboarders took time to watch in between their own cable sets.

The action was intense, including a close Double Front Flip from Garret Pruse, huge back off axis 360s from Ryan Jones and Pete Kuhlmann, multiple natural and counter slides from the field and even a huge back 540 from Dave Vogt off the Stereo Kicker. The judges were so impressed they took the liberty of advancing 9 skiers to the semi final heats.

The competition heated up in the Semis as only 4 spots were up for grabs. Highlights included a huge roll to blind from Buechler, gnarly late 180s from Dave Vogt, what we called an under whirly from Brian Robbins and a huge whirly from Dan Olsen. Dan was taken down on the whirly 5 which he rarely falls on and Pete and Ryan continued their barrage of off axis back 3s off “Big White”. Bjorn Jokerud styled out all of the sliders and destroyed OWC’s “Nessie” by transferring from the side incline up to a counter slide 450 out, landing him in the final four.

The finals were comprised of Chad Buechler, Pete Kuhlmann, Bjorn Jokerud and Brian Robbins who all threw down their hammers after a long day of competition. Pete found himself in fourth place after a couple of uncharacteristic falls, and the podium (ice chest) was topped by Chad Buechler, followed by Bjorn Jokerud and Brian Robbins. Chad brought his A-Game for sure, styled out every rail with natural and counter slides, regular and switch approaches, switch counter 3s off the incline, huge glides and another roll to blind off the Big White kicker.

Official Results

Wake Division
1st Place: Chad Buechler
2nd Place: Pete Kuhlmann
3rd Place: Ryan Jones

Cable Division
1st Place: Chad Buechler
2nd Place: Bjorn Jokerud
3rd Place: Brian Robbins

Best Trick
Ryan Jones Raley off the Wake $100


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