One of wakeboarding’s most impressive all-around athletes has committed to ride at Board Up™ Miami, April 23-25, 2009 at the Miami Marine Stadium Basin. New Zealand native Jeff Weatherall, former Australian Pro Tour Champion is headed to South Florida to add to his growing list of accolades, which also includes a Malibu Open title, and IWSF World Champion in 2003 and 2005.
Weatherall is among the most versatile athletes on the US Pro Tour, he is also a competitive surfer, former pro snowboarder, frequent mountain biker, recreational skateboarder, and rides moto-cross. Weatherall has been competing on the US Pro Tour for the last 6 years. Loaded with talent, he picked up wakeboarding not as a young child, but as a distraction in the off-season from his pro snowboarding career, and as he recalls, that was pretty much all it took, “I had just finished a season snowboarding and was using the summer to save up some cash so that I could do back-to-back winters between Canada and New Zealand on the pro snowboard circuits. Well, some relatives of mine invited me up to some lakes to wakeboard for a few weeks. I wasn't really into it at first, but a couple of days out on the water and I was pretty much hooked. Just the rush of learning new tricks and hanging out on the lake was enough for me.”
Board Up™ Miami is a pro-am wakeboard competition that allows the world’s best pros to compete against some of the top amateurs looking for a chance to score their first professional contracts and the glamour that comes with it. This year’s prize purse will be over $10,000 with competition for both male and female riders of all divisions. Board Up™ is the signature event of a weekend that begins on Thursday April 23rd and Friday April 24th with the IWSF Pan Am Wakeboard Championships. Amateur winners of the Pan Ams (one of the nation’s largest competitions) automatically get a shot to ride with the pros on Saturday April 25th at Board Up™.
For the participant sporting event enthusiast, Saturday morning starts the day off with the Nike Swim Miami, an open water swimming competition for over 700 athletes that features a 10K (the swim marathon), 5K, and mile swim that in the past has featured current and former Olympians, collegiate and high school All-Americans, and plenty of weekend warriors of all ages and gender. Additionally, this year, Saturday’s festivities will also showcase a Dragonboat paddling competition with over 500 competitors. Dragon Boat racing is one of the oldest and most popular forms of paddle boat racing, with its origins in Hong Kong, China.
Rider registration and tickets for $20 are available on-line via the event website, www.boardup.net . Swimmers can register via www.miamisportsinternational.com for $50. All competitors receive a participant pack and free admission to all festivities.
A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the H2O’s Foundation, Helping Others Swim, www.h20swim.org.