AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 2007) – On Saturday, May 12th, the Texas Wakeboard Tour returned to Austin, Texas for the 2nd Annual Longhorn Rail Jam presented by Malibu Boats and Nissan North America. This pool-gap rail jam event took place in the middle of Austin’s notorious party strip – 6th Street. This was the biggest contest of last year’s TWT series and this years event was equally well received!
The crowd of curious on-lookers started to gather early in the evening to see what would be taking place in the two huge portable pools that stretched across an entire city block. The set-up, provided by Dallas based Ridin Rails, featured two fifty foot pools filled with over 30,000 gallons of water. The pools were separated by a forty foot kinked rail along side the new Monster Energy rail which towered five feet above the platform and over eight feet above the street. The event was pulled by a high-speed Grinch winch.
The field was made up of twenty one (21) top local and pro riders vying for over $3000 in cash, courtesy of Malibu Boats.
The action got under way at around 6:30pm as fourteen wakeboarders were split in to two heats with the top three from each heat advancing to the finals. Heat #1 featured Joe Lemberg, Danny Sherrill, Billy Garcia, Ross Skrudland, Hank Carter and Ten-80 teamates Andrew Dyrhood and Ryan Anderson. Austin based riders Carter and Skrudland moved on along with Joe Lemberg from Dallas. The second heat would feature Brian Sasser, Jimmy Lariche, Malibu Pro Team rider Jeff Weatherall, Clint Gee, Gabe Lucas and Liquid Force pro teammates Tom Fooshee and Amber Wing – the lone female wakeboarder in the competition. Once again it was two riders from Austin, Tom Fooshee and Gabe Lucas, advancing to the finals where they were joined by Clint Gee from Houston.
Before the wakeboard finals, seven wakeskaters took to the rails for a straight shoot-out. The competition was stiff for the skaters as Texas best – Richie McKee, Collin Gee, Cory Whitely, Savannah Barber and Bret Little – took on top pro’s Clint Tompkins and REEF pro team rider Brandon Thomas. Bret Little, winner of the first stop of the 2007 TWT Series, stuck a Backboard to Frontboard which got him a third place finish and a check for $250. Clint Tompkins, who won TWT stop #2 at South Padre in March, took second with a clean Frontside Board Slide across the 40 foot kinked rail and took home $500 cash. First place went to Brandon Thomas, representing REEF Clothing, who nailed a clean Backside Board Slide to Front Side Shuv out for the win. He received a check for $750 for his efforts. All three skaters also received custom trophies from Lucky Devil Designs.
The wakeboard finals got underway around 9pm. The street was buzzing with activity and the rooftop bars along 6th Street were packed with onlookers. All six finalists ignored the smaller kinked rail and attacked the much taller Monster Energy rail. Surprisingly, local favorite and known rail master, Tom Fooshee, did not finish on the podium. Instead it was Clint Gee whose Boardslide to FS 270 out was good enough for third place and a check for $250. He was followed by the favorite Gabe Lucas, coming off of back-to-back wins in the previous two TWT rail jams, who took second and added $500 to his season earnings. The big check for $1000 went to local rider, Ross Skrudland, from Austin, Texas. All three riders also received custom Longhorn Rail Jam trophies from Lucky Devil Designs.
In addition to Malibu Boats and Nissan North America, this free event was made possible with support from Monster Energy Drink, Bud Light, Liquid Force Wakeboards, Reef Clothing, Kicker Audio, Spy Optic, Ten 80 Clothing, TBKS, Boardstop.com, H20 Clothing, US Smokeless Tobacco, Lucky Devil Designs and Central Texas Watersports. Media partners include Alliance Wakeboard Magazine, Wakeboarding Magazine, Wakeboarder.com, Wakeworld.com and Austin’s 101X FM Radio Station. The event will benefit the ESSCA.
Special thanks to Liquid Force wakeboards, Ten-80 Clothing, Lakelessons.com and the Texas Ski Ranch for donating product/services for the on-site raffle benefiting six year old cancer victim, Trinity Bright. Over $600 was raised at the event for her family.