This past weekend I had the privilege to attend my first waterski tournament in which my wife and I competed in. This tournament was the Wade Cox Open in Farmer City, IL.
First off, I'd like to thank The Liquid Edge and Wade Cox for putting this tournament on and to the officials who helped scoring/starting and all the other things behind the scenes that we don't see (it wouldn't be possible without them). Finally a big thanks to some sponors: Mastercraft, HO Skis (who sent Jon Travers), and Connelly skis. Despite the winds being around 20-30mph the course was well protected and there was only a slight ripple on the water, perfect for some good skiing. There were 65 skiers who participated in this tournament so it was really well attended. From the beginning there was a great sense of camaraderie, everyone was talking to each other and meeting new people. The format was setup to be a grassroots and a class C tournament - geared towards those who had never been in a tournament. There were about 30 or so grassroots skiers who were given 4 passes through the course. Both the mini-course and the full course were used for the grassroots skiers. With Wade Cox as the MC and primary announcer there was never a dull moment. Lots of clapping and encouragement from the shore as the skiers made it to the starting dock and through the course. Once all the grassroots skiers had their turn Jon Travers took to the water to show us how the pros do it. He proceeded to run through 41 off with a little hot doggin around 6 ball at 35 off. Next up were the Class C skiers who were broken up into 4 separate groups. Some young kids skied really well with at least one score into 32 off. With round one completed it went back to the first group of class C skiers and back through to the grassroots skiers. Jon Travers once again entertained and amazed us with another round of skiing into 41 off. Simply amazing skiing. The young kids/skiers were not only encouraged to watch Jon, but to ride in the boat and watch. What a treat for them. With everyone finishing up around 8:00 PM it was a long but fantastic day of skiing. A big BBQ dinner was provided courtesy of Mastercraft Boats (THANKS!!!). Everyone I talked to is anticipating coming back for next year - and I know my wife and I are as well. As a result of this tournament my wife is even more motivated to improve her skiing and get out on the water to get better and learn. I want to enter more tournaments this year as it was a blast and I can't wait to meet more people.
The environment of this tournament was fantastic for kids as there were two beaches and a pool to entertain them. Lots of folks brought their favorite pet: ranging from a French Bulldog to a Great Dane - all were well behaved and great with the kids. Our three kids had a great time in the sand/water/pool and meeting/playing with other kids. They slept well on the way home - an added bonus!
An added bonus my wife skied really well despite the nervousness of competing: 3 buoys at 15off and 34mph (her first or second attempt at 34mph all year).
I was very happy with my tournament scores as well - scoring 1.5 buoys at 32off and 34mph for the first round and 4 buoys at 32off and 34mph for the second round.
It truly was a great day to be a part of The Liquid Edge - Wade Cox Open waterski tournament. Thanks again to all who made it happen.