Windy and Cold.

If I had to sum up the 2008 Southeast Collegiate Regional Qualifier, those would be the two words to do it. When we arrived at Lake Lanier on Friday evening, we were greeted with warm temperatures, calm winds, and a crew of wakeboard teams hailing from schools throughout Georgia and Florida ready to earn their respective spots in the National Collegiate Championships next spring. Little did we know what was in store for the contest over the next two days.

The novice division kicked things off Saturday morning, battling 60-degree temperatures and what seemed like hurricane-force winds that were blowing straight down the course. After pulling four divisions, we had a little meeting and after huddling around iPhone-powered weather reports, and the bonfire UCF built on the beach, we decided to pull the plug for the day and finish the contest on Sunday. Surely the conditions couldn’t get any worse.

We were pretty beat up from the cold and wind, so went back to the lakeside cabins we rented out for the weekend and had a great cookout and meet new friends. We awoke bright and early to what seemed like calm winds; it was still a bit chilly, but the sun was out and the wind a little less crazy.

Despite the settings, each school came ready to ride and cheered on their teammates. Very little a complaint came from each rider as they threw down what they had worked so hard all season. As the final day wound to a close the wakeskate division met the challenges of choppy water, demonstrating wake to wake backside 180’s and re-entry backside big spins. Then when all was wrapping to a shivering close the pro division was finally up. With Sailboats and fall colored trees as a back drop, Scott Hopkins tamed the chop with a stand up run.

It wasn’t the best conditions, but everyone had a great time with bonfires, marshmallow wars, and hot tubs. The University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and Florida State ended up earning the open spots at Nationals.

Stay tuned next spring to see which schools come out on top at Nationals in beautiful San Diego California. Big thanks to Slingshot, UGP, and everyone at Aqualand Marine for helping make the weekend happen.