Empire Wake 2012 College Wakeboarding Recap
College Wakeboarding 2012 Recap
The growth of this level is nothing we expected. Four years ago in 2009, the Collegiate Wake Series was written as an answer to outcries from all over the country that something needed to change and a new push needed to be made.
That first season in the Fall only 25 teams came out to compete in the national tour that consisted of 5 stops in Wilmington NC, Atlanta GA, Cincinnati OH, Beaumont TX, and San Diego CA.
By 2012 the tour has grown to 7 stops and hosts over 60 teams. Teams that once had 8 riders now have 30. Teams that were all lower level are now producing top notch competition.
This year was the best we have ever seen. Kicking off in Atlanta, the tour stop produced teams from Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. Ninety-five riders competed over a day and a half at Sunset Cove on Lake Lanier. To make the event even more excited, the cove was packed with spectators and supporters. MarineMax and their brand new Nautique G23 was the towboat used here.
The University of Florida came out loaded. Bringing riders such as Freddie Wayne and Marcus Knox. Their supporting cast was right behind them lead by Senior and President Josh Banks.
University of Georgia was there are ready to break into the top clubs in the country. For the first time they had a team loaded with enough riders to keep them 3rd for the weekend.
From Atlanta the tour headed to new stop Frankfort Kentucky along the banks of the Kentucky River. The spot was epic along with the day. Georgia once again brought a strong team as well as notching a second stop to their national score.
Even still though this bumped them to 2nd in the country.
Heading west the tour took on high winds in Dallas on Lake Lewisville where it was University of Baylor who came out to prove they were the smokin’ guns in Texas this year. Constantly they have lived in the shadows of the Texas Longhorns who own a Championship title already. Behind Buxton Marine’s Nautique G23 the teams fought some of the worst water conditions we had ever seen.
New President Reagan Strickland has done an amazing job keeping this club going and not losing momentum as most teams do when they switch to a new officer.
However, Arizona State traveled half way across the country to kick their season off. They took 1st overall for the weekend but only left them in 2nd place nationally behind powerhouse Florida. This is the most travelled team in all of College Wakeboarding. Last year the club ended the season in Tampa Florida, this year they hit Dallas, Chico and Lake Elsinore.
Their traveling paid off as they are going into the Championships ranked number 1 for the second year straight.
From Dallas the tour took us through the Rocky Mountains, snow storms, salt flats, and on to beautiful Northern California. Where Villa Lagos lay host for the second straight year. This time it was a beautiful loaded down Axis A22 pulling the teams.
Defending champs Chico State were on their home lake and we expected another strong showing. Yet once again it was the Wake Devils of Arizona coming out on top and pushed them closer to taking 1st place away from the Gators
Two riders stood out, Arizona States Cole Kraiss who is one of the top Wakeskaters in College Wakeboarding, and Ben Hernstedt of Sac State. Ben took first in Advanced as he continues to push to that next level.
The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without Halloween in Chico. Thanks to Red Bull support the costume party was a night most everyone can’t remember.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the 2012 Collegiate Wake Series!
College Wakeboarding is made possible from the support of:
Alpinestars, GoPro, Nautique, Axis, Smith Optics, Woodroze Sunglasses, Elevated Clothing, Kicker Audio, KMC Wheels, Buywake.com, Marine Products, Slingshot Sports, Shred Ready Helmets, and Dupe Flip Flops!