It was another stellar day out here at OWC in Orlando, where the amateur events set the stage for what promises to be an all around fun and exciting event. It's cool to see the turnout of grass roots riders boost the number of participants. But even more exciting is seeing the people who make up the true life-blood that fuels this sport come together to compete and express their passion for riding.
In the Masters division (30-39 years of age), Jeff Barton came in as a favorite, however had only ridden three times this season due to the climate in New Jersey. JB is a rider who is well-known as a current color commentator for FUEL TV as well as a longtime WAKEBOARDING Magazine editor. His two stand-up passes beat out six other riders to win the heat and take top seed going into the finals on Saturday.
Also apparent was Junior Mens field displaying the next big names in the sport. Upcoming riders like Mitch Langfield, Harley Clifford, and Bob Soven threw down runs that made it clear that this season proves to be a thrilling and progressive one.
Meanwhile at the opposite side of Orlando Watersports Complex, the qualifier for the first stop of the Toe Jam was taking place. The winch competition consisted of a pool with two down rails. In addition to the two hubba rails, what was unique to this years set up was the kicker up to flat box which allowed riders to not only do tricks out of the pool, but also back up into the pool. Upcoming shredder Andrew Fortenberry surprised the crowd today, qualifying with an shuv-Indy up the kicker into the pool. Danny Hampson landed a frontside big-spin on the down rail. Andrew Pastura and Stu Shinn also qualified to compete in tonights all wakeskate final.
In addition, the draft for the Wake Games is taking place right now. This aspect is what makes this competition so different from every other event throughout the year. Professional riders who have been chosen as team captains will be allowed to choose one rider from each division to join their team. Riders score points for their placements in every division to determine the overall performance of the team. It's shaping up to be an incredible weekend out here at OWC. So if you're in the area, don't miss the chance to come out and witness the action for yourself. Otherwise, stay tuned for more updates throughout the weekend!