Hola from the 2009 Rio Bravo Pro
As I sat in my hotel room the other night thinking about what I wanted to say about the Rio Bravo Pro event in Reynosa Mexico this past weekend, I kept coming back to the same thing. Our industry and the pro athletes and fans are the best group of people to be around at any time. And this past weekend Reynosa Mexico proved that statement.
13 of the top pro wakeboarders attended this annual event they call the Rio Bravo Pro. The list included Aaron Rathy, Rusty Malinoski, Danny Harf, Philip Soven, Shane Bonifay, JD Webb, Randall Harris, Adam Errington, Ben Greenwood, Bob Soven, Collin Harrington, Kyle Rattray and Shawn Watson. Everyone, including a few international wild cards competed for a top cash prize of $4000 and a chance to be named Rio Bravo Pro champ.
The weekend started with a few practice runs. Phil, Rusty, and Rathy put on a bit of a show on Saturday for some of the locals. All were impressed and wanted to see more, so once the sun went down a rail jam broke out. Each rider had a chance to show everyone what they had and JD Webb came out swinging with pretty much every tech trick in the book. A big surprise and crowd favorite was Phil Soven’s gap to tail tap over a Monster Energy Drink EZ-Up tent.
Sunday marked the official start to the main event. Riders went head to head and received two river passes, one down and one up, and for their third pass they had a chance to hit a kicker or a flat bar for extra points. It came down to four riders in the semi finals; Rusty Malinoski, Adam Errington, Phil Soven, and Randall “The Vandall” Harris.
All rode well, but Randall and Phil advanced to the final. Randall hit the water first with massive wrapped tricks and huge airs to put pressure on Phil. Phil ended up falling on his second trick of his first pass and the rest of his run wasn’t quite what the judges were looking for. So Randall Harris walked away with the W and 4K large, winning his first contest since 1995.
The weekend came to an end with the ceremonial foam spray on the podium and the Monster Girls along side the Corona Girls handed out the cash. Congrats to Randall and the rest of the riders for an amazing weekend in Mexico. Big thanks goes out to Luis Loaiza for taking care of us like we were his family, Dorig Bocquet for convincing me to get my ass down to Mexico, Argentinean wake sensation Alejo de Palma for being such a dope dude, and Sergio Guerra for opening his home to all of us that attended. If you’re ever in need of a great vacation or some solid wakeboard lessons hit up Luis, Alejo, and the rest of the boys at riobravowakecamp.com.
Check back in a few weeks for a short web video on the entire event.