I Have A Problem Here…

…the lakes are high and the no wake on the lake went lake wide today. That means no skiing in Madison for me. Can’t blame them though, here are a few shots of our ski site from Monday and the area where the crowd would sit is flooded.

This shot shows our blacktop stage that is normally a couple
feet above the water level and it is now at the water level.

Here is where the crowd will typically sit. Now it is under water.

Here is the bike path…. once again it is normally a couple feet
above the lake level and now it just barely above the lake level.
You can see debris from when the water was higher.

Finally, here is a line of debris across the middle
of the park showing where the water level was.

With no skiing in Madison, that means I’ll need to road trip to The Beav or Lake Wisconsin to find water to ski on. Not a huge problem but it does cut into the ability to do after work skiing. Finish work at 5, best case, home by 530, on the road to one of those two places by 540, launching the boat at 615. And that is really the very best case. More than likely, it would be 630/645 for launching the boat and that means just 60 minutes of skiing. Getting everyone to arrive at exactly 530 at my house to meet to go north is just very unlikely. I’m just crossing my fingers the water goes down somewhat quickly. 2 weeks would be nice.

Anyways, that just means I have a whole lot more free time in the evenings that I need to find something to do with.

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Mad-City in the News (Kinda?)

I took it upon myself to scour the web looking for news about the Mad-City Ski Team (actually, I’ve automated this process, but want to make you think I work hard to find these random tidbits) and stumbled upon this site called Daily Motion which kinda seems like another type of YouTube type site. Anyways, on this site someone produces a show called “The Boaters TV” and they had a story about show skiing and the Mad-City Ski Team. The show skiing related stuff starts about two thirds of the way through the episode. The video is below… check it out.

The Boaters TV Episode 30

Finally, if you watch the credits for the news broadcast closely, you’ll see that our very own Bugsy (aka bugsroll) supplied some of the video featured in the episode. Then you’ll see that the episode was brought to you by the word “cleat”.
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Mad-City 2007 Nationals Highlight Clip

So… with the rain, high water, bad weather, no wakes on the lakes, boredom, and constant nagging from the Bug-Man, I finally decided to put together a highlight clip for the Mad-City Ski Team’s National Champion Ship Ski Show. It’s a little longer than the state clip I did for two reasons… 1) the state clip was intended for the TV news (which it did make) so I needed to keep it relatively short and 2) our national show was way better… more highlights to show!

So without further ado, here is the 2007 Nationals Highlight Clip for the Mad-City Ski Team!

BTW, it would appear that Ronée is more effective at getting me do stuff than the Bug-Man. She talked me into doing this the day after state… took Bugsy a week and a half.

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Surfing Without the Rope

So a while back, Paul, already a little bored with using a rope to start out on the surf board behind the boat decided to just step off the platform and onto the board. For him, it worked out good. In case you missed it the first time, here’s the video…

One of the many people in the boat that night was Ronée. Not counting Paul, she is probably the best surfer of the rest of us. She has it down pat. And she’s apparently also becoming a little bored with the traditional start using a rope and wanted to try out the platform start. She was a little more hesitant than Paul, and had Sandy distracting her, but she did manage to complete the start… she just didn’t catch the wave that well. Here’s the video…

I still give her props for trying it out. The thought has crossed my mind, but I’m still having a hard time catching the wave while using the rope. Probably not going to happen without it.

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Been Hitting the Ramp…

I’ve been hitting the ramp pretty hard the last couple weeks. Pretty much going every time I get a chance. I’ve been trying heli after heli after heli…

Earlier this week, I had my best heli attempt so far. Typically, I start spinning as I go off the ramp and the whole time I’m in the air I’m thinking to myself “make it all the way around, make it all the way around…” Well on Tuesday, on my first attempt of the night I hit the ramp, start my rotation and manage to get all the way around and see the boat. And then it hits me, I should grab the handle with my free hand. That’s the first time that thought has had a chance to even occur during one of my heli attempts. I usually don’t even get that far. I reach for the handle with my right hand and find it. Then my ass hits the water because I’m not over my skis enough and fall. I was still pumped though. It was the first time I had gotten all the way around and thought to put my hand back on the handle and did put my hand on the handle. Here’s the video…

Here’s one of my more typically heli attempts as of late… only rotate about 330 degrees and take some sort of rib shot…

One of the comments I heard that should help me out is I’m gripping the braid too much. Need to have a light touch so my rotation starts quicker. Also need to just turn my head to the left to help initiate the spin as well. Both should help me get around quicker.

Meanwhile, Bugsy has also been beating himself up as he works on flips… front flips to be exact. Here’s the footage of his four front flip attempts from this week…

When Paul watched these, the one comment he had for Bugsy was that he needs to stay tucked to finish the rotation. He’s coming un-tucked and that stops the rotation which provides spectacular falls for the spectators… something we appreciate, but something he’ll want to correct if he has dreams off skiing away from one of these.

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Recent Press Coverage of the Mad-City Ski Team

The ski team has been getting some nice local press lately. The Wisconsin State Journal had a nice article about the ski team’s recent successes and what it means to be on the ski team on the Saturday morning of Nationals. (Link to article)

At that same time they were writing that article, the newspaper also had someone working on a video of the ski team. I managed to track the video down and watched it and I think they did a really good with it. (Link to video)

On Monday after Nationals, The Capital Times (Madison’s other newspaper) had a nice story on us winning another National Championship. (Link to article)

Then on Tuesday morning, the Wisconsin State Journal had their article about us repeating as National Champions. (Link to article)

Meanwhile, I also looked for coverage in the local newspapers of the other teams that competed in the tournament. I found articles about Wonder Lake (link to article), Janesville Rock Aqua Jays (link to article) and the Rockford Ski Broncs (link to article).

Of the other articles I found, I think the best quote is in the Janesville article from Dave Rezin:

“Mad City had a real good show. The thing they have going for them is they ski on rough water every day (at their show site in Law Park on Lake Monona in Madison). They have almost no barefooting in their show, so they were able to adapt to the conditions better than what we were.”

That’s the first time that our ski site has ever provided us with any type of advantage. It is routinely rough and we don’t have anything that resembles a beach. When the water is calm, the boat waves we generate bounce off the Monona Terrace and come right back at us. We use to have a sunny sight, but then some very tall apartment buildings were built and now we get a whole lot of shade in the evening. The only redeeming quality of our site is the bicycle path.

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A Fatty Full of Fellowship and Fun…

A National Championship Recap!

This past weekend was long, hot, humid and a whole lotta fun. The Mad-City Ski Team competed in the 2007 National Show Ski Tournament in Loves Park, IL (near Rockford). We’re the defending national champions and are looking for our 3rd championship in 4 years.

The 2007 National Show Ski Tournament started off strong for the Mad-City Ski Team. Our jump team competed in the team jump competition on Friday afternoon. They hit the water first and put the bar way up high by performing a no fall jump act with a whole lotta difficult jumps including a four man front flip and a 720. Nobody else’s jump act was in the same league as ours. Here are some pictures from the Team Jump National Champions…

A Heli & Double Fronts

Quad Helis

Quad Fronts

The 2007 Mad-City Ski Team – National Team Jump Champions

For more Team Jump pictures, you can visit this Picasa Web Album.

After team jump, we headed to our hotel for our team meeting/practice. We started off with pizza party then held a short team meeting before heading outside to run through intros one last time before the tournament. We practiced intros and dances for about an hour or so and then the official team functions were done. A few of us we’re quite ready to call it a night yet and headed to a local watering hole called the Turtle Tap for some R&R.

I rode there with Taryn, T-Bell and 7. Taryn was driving and 7 was navigating and we had several cars following us. As we approach the stop light for the frontage road the hotel is on, the light turns yellow and Taryn guns it to make the light and leave the others stuck behind the red light. We then talked to Taryn about the etiquette of leading cars which consists of basically not running yellow lights so they can keep up.

After pulling over and letting the others catch up, we’re soon faced with the same situation. The light turns yellow and Taryn guns it and then she stands on the brake to bring the SUV to a very sudden stop. The funniest part is she puts her hand over to help keep 7 in his seat. She did the short stop from Seinfeld. Meanwhile, T-Bell and myself in the backseat nearly find ourselves in the front seat and we’re all laughing.

We walk into the bar and let’s just say I’m glad there was a large group of us walking in. Had it been a small group of us, we probably would have turned around and left. Cameras everywhere and a fairly rough looking crowd. In stark contrast to the crowd, they had this mural on the wall…


There was a “someone” with a mullet that went down to the middle of the back and it took us a while to figure out if the someone was male or female. Turned out to be female. We split up into two groups, one playing pool in the corner and another playing darts. I joined in the game of cricket. My team consisted of Laura, Kristen and myself. Whoever setup the cricket game actually setup a team cricket game so we were actually paired up with another team as well. For a long while we struggled, but in the end we caught up and helped our combined team win.

Kristen, Myself and Laura… Cricket Champions!

We headed back to the hotel just a bit after a 11 to get to bed at a decent time for our early wake up. We all had a lot of fun and had a nice relaxing night.

Saturday morning arrives and it is hot and humid, just like the day before. After enjoying the continental breakfast at the hotel (I made myself a really good waffle and drank a whole lotta milk) I headed to the ski site. Made it there at 730. Watched just a bit of RAJ’s show to see how the sound system sounded with crowd and to get an idea of it’s capabilities. Watching this bit of the RAJ show took a long time. They had 2 injury timeouts that delayed everything about an hour.

Finally show time arrives. After doing a quick hook up of the sound equipment and brief sound and mic checks, it was show time. Adam and Matt did their little pre show dance and then the ladies hit the stage. Adam and Matt have a funny pre show dance. The ladies just have a really good pre show dance.

Sandy and Libby doing the Pre Show Dance!

Moments later our show hit the water. It stared off strong with a 6 man barefoot line and a 4-double top 2-4 high pyramid coming through. Montage then came rapid fire after that as it usually does and also came through pretty clean. The Bell sisters made their fliers through some crap water and caught some serious air while doing their deeps. Cake made his sky ski pass. Kristen came through and threw 5 720’s in her single pass (apparently this is too many 720s and makes the trick seem easier than it is). Paul ripped up the water with his wake board. Here are some pics from the first few acts of the show…

6 Man Back Foot Line

Our Opening Pyramid Team… They saved the princess!

A Tale of 2 Ski Shows

Sir Talks-a-lot

The Bell Sisters

Watch Out for Flying Cake

Beau & Kirk

Mr. Paul O’Conner

Kirsten Heilman doing too many 720’s in one pass
Apparently 5 is too many…

After montage we put out a Mad-City original act. The One Act Show. This year we went big. A shoe skier, a 4-high human pyramid, a doubles couple and a pinwheel going over the jump next to all of that. It rolled through the show course and the crowd went wild.

Approaching the Ramp!

Doing their thing!

Next up was the Mad-City Dream Girls. Turns out they are the best all female ballet line in the nation. 23 strong with some great dances. I’ll let the pictures speak for them selves.

On the Dock!


23 Ladies on the Water!

Look at that ballet line…

Strike a Pose!

We even put some ladies on some mini stages…

Everybody Shimmy!

Then our jump team hit the water for their first jump act of the show. Had a couple of falls, but still a very good jump act. Then our star swivel hit the water and like jump had a fall, but still a very strong act with Kristen throwing a 1080. Then our big act took to the water. It also had a handful of falls, but also a very clean act. Here are a few more pictures…

Four Man Helis

Four Man Fronts

Captain Jack Sparrow



Every Pirate Needs a Pirate Ship, Not a Pile of…
The Parrots are the Smart Ones…

7 Staggered Trios

Conventional Doubles

Our Toe-Turnin’ Swivel Wenches!

Toe Turned!

Our Swivel Pirettes!

Ladies… stay away. I have chirpies. It’s a canaryial disease. It’s un-tweetable.

Oh, No He Didn’t!

Next on the water was our second jump act of the day. It was hot. Two fronts and gainer… Triple heli, double splits… and a super sized pinwheel (gainer, double fronts and a heli)… No falls. It would have been the highest scoring jump act, except we have one more jump act in store.

Triple Heli, Double Split

Super Size Pin Wheel

Then we had our SNL fill. Adam and Taryn put on a phenomenal production. This video will be on the internet soon. The crowd loved it. Here’s a couple pictures to keep your interest until then.

Then after an impromptu fill, our ending pyramid came through, a double top 3-2-4-2-4. We lost just a couple people off the dock that prevented the double top 3 from being a 4.

It was suppose to be a 4-2-4-2-4. This is pretty damn close!

After the pyramid we did a completely original version of the Evolution of Dance. This time Adam had a dancing partner with Matt sharing the stage with him.

Let’s twist again, Like We Did Last Summer!

Do the Locomotion!

Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting!

It takes 2!

Still takes 2!

Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, The Right Stuff!

No Comment Needed, or Desired for this Picture

I’m a Barbie Girl

No comment on this one…

Bringing Sexy Back!

Then the Jaw Dropper took the water. One man, 3 jumps, never leaving the show course. Starts off with the gainer, then does a front and finishes with a 720. When it’s clean, it is an untouchable jump act. Sorry, I don’t have any good pictures of this act. Watch for the video.

Then we put our newest act on the water… our combo ballet line with a hot pick of the guys. We put on a phenomenal show and finished to a standing ovation.

Guys Ballet

Hot Pick

Big Ballet

Our show ends with several dances… here’s the first One!

Then Adam did HIS intro, to the dismay of the rest of the team…

I Love You, You Love Me…

Then we dance some more… What I Like About You!

Left, Right…

After the show, the long wait began. We’re done with our part and now need the rest of the teams to finish their shows. And it is a long wait.

Saturday night, after grabbing some dinner at the local Applebees, we all met up at bar near the hotel (at least those of us that stayed in Beloit). It was a blast that night. Everyone had lots of drinks and everyone had lots of fun. We definately rolled up a fatty of fellowship and fun that night.

Something funny was said… can’t remember what

Shots for the ladies…

Me, Sandy and Paul

This was taken at the end of the night, only a few hours before Brad was waken up and told to move the truck.

Paul and Kelly Dancing

Obligatory picture show both Bugsy and Tristan at the very end of the night at the bar…

Sunday morning came way too early, but I did make it in time to catch Wonder Lake and Little Crow’s shows, the two that I really wanted to see. Both had good shows, but not anything that could beat our show from the day before. Both had some phenomenal acts. Wonder Lake did their pre-fab pyramid hot pick again. They first take 2 pre-fabs off the dock. Then they loop around and come from behind the starting dock. Meanwhile, the starting dock has 2 more pre-fabs on it and their is a floating barge butted up to it with 2 more pre-fabs on it. As the boat pulling the pre-fabs approaches the dock, the barge comes free and gives the boat room to split the dock and barge and hot pics the four pre-fabs. Not sure what I mean, then just watch the video.

Little Crow also had an act that I thought was great. I’m not even a big fan of ATBs (around the boats) but they did an ATB act that was awesome. Just three people, but two went one way and the third guy went the opposite way and they went around the boat. The act didn’t stop there though, they immediately did another ATB, and then they did another. 3 guys doing 3 ATBs back-to-back-to-back. I wish I had filmed it.

Finally, the shows ended and it was awards time. As I’ve already posted, Mad-City swept the traditional box scores (dock & equipment, driving, pickup boats and sound) and some of the act awards (jump, swivel and ballet). A couple interesting facts… Mad-City had the 3 highest scoring jump acts and 2 highest scoring ballet acts. Here are some pictures from the awards ceremony…

The sea of Mad-City blue shirts waiting for the results!

Christ accepting the Best Ballet Award for our Combo Ballet Line
Normally all the girls accept the award. Personally, I think all 30 people in the act should have gone up there.

Paul, with Cyndi and Tony, accepting the Best Jump Act Award for The Jaw Dropper

The Best Swivelers in the Nation!
Ann, Kristen, Laura and Joey accepting the Best Swivel Act Award

Paul accepting the Skip Gilkerson award from Skip Gilkerson
for the Outstanding Male Performance at the tournament.

Some of our Dock & Equipment people accepting the award for Best Dock & Equipment

Best Pick-Up Boat Driving

Don, Jerry, Gary and Tony… Best Boat Drivers!

Adam, Matt and Me (Wedge) – Best Audio Presentation

Chris accepting the National Championship!

A River Full of National Champions!!!

After taking our swim we headed back to Madison for a little party at the Coliseum Bar and Grill. Originally, we planned to watch the production company’s DVD of our show but it didn’t work and appears to be a bad DVD. I made a call and arranged to get a DVD that my dad had made so the team could watch that. A lot of the people in the show don’t really get to see it, so for them it is the first time seeing it.

The night ended with Paul, Laura, Kristen, Bugsy and myself closing down the bar at midnight, all of us exhausted.

Picasa Web Albums in this Post:

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2007 National Show Ski Championship Sunday Quick Update

The 2007 Nationals has come to a close and the results are in…

Your 2007 National Show Ski Champion is the Mad-City Ski Team. The final results are…

  1. Mad-City Ski Team (2184.05)
  2. Wonder Lake (1984.98)
  3. Rock Aqua Jays (1938.12)
  4. Little Crow (1806.98)
  5. Backwater Gamblers (1757.07)
  6. Badgerland (1682.96)
  7. Aqua Nuts (1593.54)
  8. Five Seasons (1545.28)
  9. Webfooters
  10. Chippewa Lake
  11. Ski Broncs
  12. Ski Otters
  13. Water Hawks
  14. Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks

Order should be correct and points should be pretty accurate. Sorry I don’t have points for all of the teams. For the USA Water Ski press release announcing the results, check out this link.

Box scores…

  • Dock & Equipment – Mad-City
  • Tow Boat – Mad-City
  • Pickup Boat – Mad-City
  • Audio Presentation – Mad-City

Act Awards…

  • Best Doubles – RAJ?
  • Best Barefoot – RAJ – Barefoot Circles I Think
  • Highest Scoring Pyramid – Wonder Lake (Prefab Thread the Needle Hot Pick)
  • Best Ballet (Mad-City – Big Ballet at End of Show)
  • Best Jump (Mad-City – Jaw Dropper)
  • Best Swivel (Mad-City)

Outstanding Performances…

  • Male (Skip Gilkerson Award) – Mr. Paul O’Conner – Mad-City
  • Female (Willa Cook Award) – Cathy Luiting – RAJ

Most of the awards are from memory. If I made a mistake, let me know and I’ll fix it.

Stop back soon for a full recap of the weekend with a whole lotta pictures, some video (including the Wonder Lake pyramid hot pick) and some fellowship and fun!


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2007 National Show Ski Championship Saturday Update

Just a quick update after day one of the 2007 Show Ski Nationals…

Didn’t get to see Janesville’s show, but I heard they had falls scattered throughout their show. Also had two time stopages due to injuries. Consensus was they struggled a bit.

Watching the Mad-City show as I ran sound for, I’d say we put on a very good show. Big pyramids (although we did loose people coming back), great ballet line, 1 good jump act and 2 great jump acts, awesome one act show (shoe skier, 4 high, doubles and a pinwheel), good swivel and big acts. Our big ballet line at the end was also very good with 29 back to the beach. Not the “perfect” show we really wanted, but we had very limited falls in the show course and not that many overall. My overall opinion is we skied a show that will be tough to beat, but it is a beatable show. There are a few teams that ski on Sunday that have the personnel to put on a show that could beat us. We need to wait and see.

There’ll likely be a quick update later on Sunday with some results and full recap of the weekend coming early next weekend with a whole lotta pictures.

Good luck to the teams skiing on Sunday!

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