The Midwest Freestyle Championships


midwestfree 063This past weekend I had the privilege to coach the Midwest Freestyle Championships for the third year in a row.  The weekend starts off with two days of clinics on Thursday and Friday.  It has been very gratifying as an instructor to watch a solid group of students come back for all three years and continue to improve.  We have managed to sell out the clinics for the past three years, and to me that is a sign of a community that loves boating and wants to continue to evolve their skills for a life time of boating fun.  After two long days of clinics we get to the main event on Saturday and Sunday.  The folks at Wausau Whitewater do an amazing job of putting together one of the most fun experiences a competitor could ask for.  Saturday brings the preliminaries for all skill levels in the freestyle events.  Wausau has categories ranging from masters to women to expert.  I believe that the beginner category had over 70 participants this year.  Unfortunately I was not able to watch that event because I was judging the intermediate and expert preliminaries.  Unfortunately the tendonitis in my right forearm kept me from defending my boater cross and freestyle medals from last year.  Don’t worry kids I will be back next year!  Saturday is always capped off with movie night.  This year we premiered “Facetime” from Nick Troutman.  We had a huge crowd for the movie in the basement of the VFW.  After the movie it is time to get to the heart and soul of the Wausau boating community, FOUR SQUARE!  The Team Pabst boys never disappoint!  They also unveiled a new game this year called Louisville Chugger, but that is a whole different story.  Sunday morning brought about the boatercross race.  Thanks to John McConville for taking care of the camera for me while I was managing the starting line.  Enjoy the video!

This is the time of day when you start to realize that you are tired.  After the boatercross the team freestyle events occur.  If you have never watch or participated in a team freestyle event, you need to!  Teams of three boaters have two minutes to get the job done.  You can formulate the plan that works best for your team.  It can involve a strategic break down of the moves that people are the best at or you can try to put two boaters in the hole at the same time.  Needless to say it is a great time.  If that was not enough exertion the individual freestyle finals are next.  We saw a number of great rides again this year from all of the skill levels.  John McConville managed to win the expert category again this year.  Its mine next year John!  Thanks to Adrian Ortiz for taking care of the camera for me during these events.  I was glued to the judging tent for most of the day.  The only time I managed to break away was to get interviewed by the local TV station.

Once again thanks to Wausau Whitewater for another great year!  I can’t wait until next year.

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