US Nationals Results

In now somewhat old news that has been published everywhere*, Keith St. Onge and Elaine Heller won their respective Open Pro Divisions, both sweeping the titles in slalom (19.7 and 13.4), trick (12,450 and 3060) and jump (84 feet and 61 feet) (respectively).

For more scores, you can check out the full USA Water Ski Press Release and at least for the time being, you can find all of the scores here (via the ABC website).

On a related note, I did get to watch a little bit of the webcast of this event that the World Barefoot Center did. Not the slickest production I’ve seen, but they are aware of that and are working on making it better (when I watched, there was a kid posing in the background). Yes, there were a couple small technical hick-ups, but nothing major. What I did like was the live feed from the boat to show each person’s runs. You could see exactly what the judges could see with a view right from the boat. I was only able to watch for a little bit on Saturday morning and watched a 82 year old and 75 year old do their trick runs. (I hope I’m still able to barefoot at their ages.) Swampy did a good job describing what he was seeing, estimating their scores, describing why somethings counted and why some didn’t. I give MAD PROPS to the WBC for making this happen. I’m sure they made countless peoples’ days by enabling them to watch their friends and family compete at Nationals. I can’t wait to see what they do next time.

*everywhere that publishes barefoot water skiing results

Best Dam Barefoot Race 2010 Results

The results are in for the 2010 Best Dam Barefoot Race held earlier today (May 15, 2010).

After lots of wind in 2007, a little less wind in 2008, then way too much wind in 2009, so much that they delayed the race by a day only to run it in 40 degree temperatures, the weather gods finally smiled on the race as weather was near perfect in Beaver Dam, WI. At race time, the temperature was near 60 degrees, is was partly sunny and just enough breeze to let you know that there was wind. The lake behind Dawn & Woody’s Moonlight Bar was nearly glass.


waiting for the horn to sound

Shortly after 11am, the boats idled out to the starting line and about 11:10am, the horn sounded and the 5 boats took off with their barefooters in tow.  In two falls that likely impacted the final results, Aaron Schoezl, a past Footstock Figure-8 Champion, fell on his deep water start. One other footer also quickly fell, but their identity was a mystery to those of us on shore (update – per Mike Miller in a comment below, it was Mark Mahan that fell.)


and they’re off

And with that, the boats disappeared behind the point as they raced northeast towards the far end of the lake. After about 8 minutes, we heard from one of the spotter boats that the first wave of footers were passing them. About 15 minutes into the race, we heard from the turn-a-round boat that four boats were already on their way back towards the finish.

As the race timer ticked towards the 27 minute mark, we could hear the roar of some of the boat motors as they raced back towards the finish line. As the timer crossed 27 minutes, the first boat, Team Mahnke, appeared past the point and raced across the finish line with a time of 27:12.

As the winners fished their final footer out of the water and cracked open their first celebratory beers, another boat, Team Mahan, made it’s appearance around the point, turning towards the finish line, when their footer fell. They quickly turned the boat around and put the handle back in the footer’s hands as another boat, Barefoot Central’s Team, appeared from behind the point. Team Mahan with their footer on the end of the rope, quickly took off towards the line, finishing with a time of 28:13 and they were followed quickly by Barefoot Central with a time of 28:24. The fourth boat, Hotfooters, finished 49 seconds later with a time of 29:13.


Team Manke enjoying their celebratory beers

After a 22 mile race, the top four teams were separated by a mere 2:01.

Back to the falls from the beginning of the race… Aaron Schoezl’s team, took 3rd behind the Mahan Team by 11 seconds. If Aaron or Mark don’t fall, they both likely contending for first. The initial pickup probably cost them about 45 seconds, maybe  a little more, maybe a little less. Those falls put them about a minute behind the eventual winners.

Update: One last note… Team Mahnke was also hampered by an 8-cylinder engine running on what they thought was 6, so they didn’t have nearly the speed that they are use to. It was fine for the initial start, but after that, they just couldn’t get the same speed. Even with the handicap, they were still able to win the race.

Here the the final standings after the race:

  1. Team Manke – 27:12 (Bob Mahnke, Luke Bruchner, Chad Mietz, Paul Stokes, Mark Donahue)
  2. Team Mahan – 28:13 (Mark Mahan, Rob Christenson, Chris McWaters, John Debelak, Mike Miller)
  3. Barefoot Central – 28:24 (Chris Van Zealand, Aaron Schoezl, Scoot Reed, Lucas Twelemeyer, Jamie Kumlien)
  4. Hotfooters – 29:13 (Mike Peterson, Gary Slawny, Dan Weinberger, Marci Holtz, Dave Strobel)
  5. Team Hughes – 44:22 (Tommy Schmidt, Andy W., Shane Hughes, Chad Behl, Tyler Sweeney)


recapping their races to each other

Varying Degrees of Winter Water Skiing

First off, some props go out to the Mad-City Ski Team, Skipper Buds and Malibu Boats. Based in Madison, WI, the ski team performed a benefit show on December 19th called Project Snowflake to raise some dollars for he local children’s hospital. They braved 30 degree weather and 36 degree water to raise about $3k for the American Family Children’s Hospital. They had fun for a very good reason. Check out the story on their website for more details. You can also donate to the cause. Details are in the Mad-City story. You ask why this made a barefooting website? Well, they had some barefooting in their show. Picture below.

Next, 30 years ago a town in California decided they needed a way to boost business on New Years. They settled on the Bun Run. It’s naked water skiing on New Year’s Day. Read the story here for more details.

Finally, there are a group of wild and crazy guys up near Montreal, Canada that like to do some water skiing in the winter. It sounds like it’s an annual tradition and they have a lot of fun in the process. Watch the video below…


Winter Water Skiing in Canada

Worlds & Nats

The main reason for a new post is my google alerts found a nice article on the Heller girls.  They recently competed at the World Games in Taiwan and did very well with Elaine taking the gold and Shannon the bronze. Quite an accomplishment for two sisters.  They also competed at the US Nationals a couple weeks later taking gold and silver.  (article)  One thing that helped a lot is Elaine is now using the inverted jumping style and is currently the only woman using that type of jump. Basically, you fly through the air like superman (or woman) and fly a hell of a lot farther.

I can’t find a source to back this up, but I remember seeing a USA Water Ski post go through my RSS reader about Keith St. Onge winning gold at Worlds and I know he also won gold at Nationals as well as set a pending trick record. (article)

Here’s a link with all of the Nationals results.

Finally… a little teaser. Keep an eye on here for a pretty sweat barefoot video (or two) coming soon. Camera work kinda sucks and the view point isn’t that great, but the trick is more than kick ass and makes up for the poor camera work and bad perspective.

USA Water Ski Post On Barefoot World’s Results

Here’s the USA Water Ski Post

I’ve copied it below because theirs will disappear eventually.

The U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team and the U.S. Senior Barefoot Water Ski Team each won overall team gold medals, the U.S. Junior Barefoot Water Ski Team earned the overall team bronze medal, and 15 U.S. athletes combined to earn 37 individual medals in respective events as the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships concluded Sunday at Lake Inspiration and Forest Lakes in Otaki, New Zealand.

For the second time, the biennial Elite (Open) Barefoot Water Ski World Championships was held simultaneously with the biennial Junior and Senior Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The seven-day event featured more than 130 athletes from 13 countries. The Elite Barefoot Worlds took place for the 16th time, while the Junior Barefoot Worlds was held for the eighth time and the Senior Barefoot Worlds commenced for the sixth time.

Athletes participating as members of the U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team were: Ryan Boyd (Orlando, Fla.)Billy Brzoza (Coventry, R.I.)William Farrell (West Sacramento, Calif.),Elaine Heller (Alma Center, Wis.)Keith St. Onge (Winter Haven, Fla.) and Laura Szwed (White Lake, Mich.). The U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team won its 12th consecutive world team title. South Africa earned the silver medal and Australia claimed the bronze medal. 

Keith St. OngeThe U.S. Elite Team was led by St. Onge, who won gold medals in men’s slalom and overall, the silver medal in jumping, and the bronze medal in tricks. Brzoza earned the silver medal in men’s slalom; Heller earned silver medals in women’s slalom, tricks, jumping and overall; and Szwed earned bronze medals in women’s slalom and tricks.

For complete results of the Elite Worlds, click here.

Athletes competing as members of the U.S. Senior Barefoot Water Ski Team were: Adin Daneker (Olympia, Wash.)Andrea Eggert (Smyrna, Ga.)Mike Salber (Clermont, Fla.)Heather Towers (Venetia, Pa.) and Kevin Towers (Venetia, Pa.). The U.S. Senior Team won the gold medal, followed by Australia and New Zealand.

Salber won gold medals in men’s tricks and overall, and silver medals in slalom and jumping; Kevin Towers won gold medals in men’s slalom and jumping, and silver medals in tricks and overall; Heather Towers won the gold medal in women’s slalom, silver medals in tricks and overall, and the bronze medal in jumping; and Eggert won the gold medal in women’s jumping.

A handful of U.S. independent competitors also earned medals in the Senior Worlds. Teri Jones (Tucker, Ga.) earned the silver medal in women’s jumping and bronze medals in tricks and overall;Tenley Cederstrand (Tacoma, Wash.) earned the bronze medal in women’s slalom; and Jerry Kanawyer (Byron, Calif.) earned bronze medals in men’s slalom and tricks.

For complete results from the Senior Worlds, click here.

Athletes participating as members of the U.S. Junior Barefoot Water Ski Team were: Shannon Heller (Alma Center, Wis.),Jacklyn Kumlien (Janesville, Wis.)Jamie Kumlien (Janesville, Wis.)A.J. Porecca (Willowbrook, Ill.) and Lisa Pressendo (Port St. Lucie, Fla.). The U.S. Junior Team earned the bronze medal. South Africa won the gold medal and Australia earned the silver medal.

Heller earned silver medals in junior women’s slalom, jumping and overall; and Jamie Kumlien earned bronze medals in junior men’s tricks and overall; Porreca earned the bronze medal in junior men’s jumping. John Pressendo (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), competing as a U.S. independent, earned the silver medal in junior men’s slalom.

For complete results from the Junior Worlds, click here.

Congrats to KSO – Men’s Open Barefoot World Champion


Keith St Onge – 2009 World Barefoot Open Champion 

The results of the Men’s Open Finals have been posted on the Australian Barefoot Water Ski Club’s website now and here are the final standings for Men’s Open:

  1. Keith St Onge (USA)
  2. Heinrich Sam (South Africa)
  3. Andre De Villiers (South Africa)
  4. David Small (Great Britain)

You can view the full results here.

The Women’s Open results are final as well and here are the standings:

  1. Ashleigh Stebbeings (Australia)
  2. Elaine Heller (USA)
  3. Emily Goldia (Great Britain)
  4. Laura Szwed (Great Britain)
  5. Shannon Heller (USA)