AUGUST 5TH & 6TH, 2017 | LITTLE MOUNTAIN WATER SKI CLUB
The fourth stop on the 2017 Nautique Big Dawg World Tour will be at Little Mountain Lake in Maiden, N.C., on Aug. 5-6.
It will be the Tour's second visit to Little Mountain Lake, with support from area Nautique dealer Race City Marine of Mooresville, N.C.
Little Mountain is the largest and last of four qualifying tournaments leading up to the Big Dawg season finale in Rio Linda, Calif., on Aug. 25-26. With some 40 skiers, Little Mountain will host the largest field of the season.
Chad Scott won the 2016 event and will return to defend his title. World record holder Jeff Rodgers will also be in the field, along with top competitors Ben Favret and Greg Badal. Little Mountain is the home site for another Big Dawg challenger, lake owner Clay Neil.
Rodgers won the season-opening Big Dawg stop in Miami in May, defeating Favret in a runoff after both Americans ran two buoys at 41 feet off in the final. He ran six at 39-1/2 in the runoff, to Favret's 3-1/2 at 39-1/2. Rodgers, a former Open Men world record holder, currently holds the 34-mph world record.
The next two Big Dawg stops moved overseas, with Frederic Halt of Switzerland winning in France, where he defeated Jeremy Newby-Ricci in the head-to-head final by one buoy, scoring three at 41.
Newby-Ricci of Great Britain was runner-up again at the third Tour stop, in Spain, as Ivan Morros won in his home country with two at 41 off in the final. Newby-Ricco scored a half at 41.
The Big Dawg World Tour is in its 12th season and is pulled exclusively by the Ski Nautique 200. The Tour features the world's best 34-mph men slalom skiers ages 35 and older. Each two-day stop includes two qualifying rounds, followed by a bracketed 16-skier head-to-head finale.
Little Mountain Lake will also offer a Big Dawg spinoff event for women, the Queens Cup on Sept. 16-17, for the top amateur female slalom skiers 30 and older. As with the Big Dawg stop, it will be the second season for the Little Mountain Queens Cup, sponsored by SportsInsurance.com, after a hugely successful debut as a $10,000-plus cash-and-prizes event in 2016.
The Queens Cup, which drew 24 entrants last year, follows the same format as the Big Dawg, including the bracketed 16-skier head-to-head finish on Sunday. Unlike the Big Dawg, the Queens Cup uses a handicapped scoring system to include skiers whose maximum boat speed is 30, 32 and 34 mph.
In addition to its support of the Little Mountain Big Dawg stop, Race City Marine of Lake Norman, located 15 minutes from the world record lake, is also an integral supporter of the Queens Cup.
The Little Mountain Big Dawg event will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 and 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6.
For information, go to nautiquebigdawg.com. For Queens Cup information, go to the usawaterski.org tournament schedule. Or contact tournament director Jeff Gilbert at email@example.com for information on either event.