Stop #1 of the 2005 Texas Wakeboard Tour is in the books and by all accounts, it was a full weekend of fun, partying and some outstanding riding...and that’s what this series is all about!!
The party kicked-off at the Texas Ski Ranch on Friday night with the Austin premiere of the new “Wave Theory” wakeboard video featuring some of the top riders in the state. The video was projected on a giant 20’ x 40’ inflatable screen provided by Blue Moon Cinema. After the premiere, the crowd was treated to live music on TSR’s outdoor stage featuring “Morningside Drive” from Houston, TX and Austin’s own, “Dremnt the End”. Thanks to TWT sponsor/partner Wake Culture Clothing for providing the live entertainment!
The contest got started around 9:00am on Saturday morning with the Advance riders first off the dock. There were a total of ten riders in the division and when it was all said and done, Marc Barrington from Granbury, TX took top honors. Marc had a clean first pass that started with a big 911 and he mixed in a variety of grabs, a nice HS 3, a Crow and TS backroll among others. Second place went to fifteen year old Bubba Gainan from Austin. The little man went big, especially on his Tantrum, before falling on a TS 5. Third place in Advance division went to another resident of Lake Granbury, Dustin Martin.
Next up were the Expert riders lead by Rusty Scott from Corinth, TX. Rusty had high marks from all three judges with a great variety of tricks and a lot of style and amplitude. His run was clean – no falls – and included a Bat Wing, Tantrum, TS 5 and a switch Crow followed by a Crow among others. Clint Gee from Mt. Vernon was right on Scott’s heels with an equally impressive set that included a pair of 360’s and a HS 5 followed by a Switch 5. The difference between first and second place in the Expert Division was only 3 tenths of a point! Evan Washington, riding out of Katy, TX, took third.
The Wakeskate Division ended with a tie for first place between defending TWT Wakekate overall winner, Richie McKee from Arlington, Texas and Joshua Steele from Houston. Steele, who has competed on the PWT throughout 2005, edged out McKee to take first place and $500 in a head-to-head “skate-off”. New Braunfels resident, Jerry Lafferty took home third.
Fifteen riders where split in to two heats in the Outlaw Division with the top (4) four from each heat moving on to the Finals for a head-to-head showdown. In the first heat, it was Joey Bradley, Ryan Anderson, Andrew Dryhood and Richie McKee who advanced. Heat #2 saw Ross Skrudland, Brian Sasser, Tom Fooshee and Jack Scanio moving in to the Finals. The head-to-head format had double elimination and it was only the eventual winner, Brian Sasser from Denton, TX, who remained on the winner’s side of the bracket throughout the entire ordeal. He defeated Andrew Dryhood and Joey Bradley then finally took down hometown favorite, Tom Fooshee, for the first place win and a check for $1000. It was clean, consistent riding and big tricks including his Whirly 5, Blind 5, Crow Mobe and TS 7 that helped him get there.
Fooshee fought back from one defeat (to Sasser) earlier in the finals and had the crowd on their feet every time he left the dock. Tom was one of the few riders throughout the day to hit the big A-frame slider and when he did…it was explosive! Highlights of his run included a monster 313, Crow Mobe, KGB and a huge HS 5 off the A-frame! He defeated Ryan Anderson, Richie McKee and Andrew Dryhood on his way to a second place finish and a check for $750.
For many at the event, it was the first time we had seen or heard of Andrew Dryhood. Riding out of Springdale, AK. Dryhood’s first defeat came at the hands of Sasser. He then preceded to dismissed Jack Scanio, Richie McKee and Joey Bradley until he was finally knocked out by Fooshee and settled for a third place finish and $500. He went big all day with passes that included KGB, Off-Axis 5, Moby Dick, Crow Mobe, Roll to Blind and a TS Ole 5….everyone knew his name by the end of the day.
The riding was intense and the crowd on hand definitely enjoyed watching the battle unfold! Thanks to everyone who attended – riders and spectators – and special thanks to all the major sponsors who made this series possible…Nissan North America, Mastercraft Boats, Chipotle Restaurants and the US Air Force.. Thanks also to Kicker Audio for providing the sound system along with some great prizes, Liquid Force, Da Hui, Krown Wakeoards, LoveSac, Reef, Spy Optic, KMC Wheels, Ten 80 Clothing, Wake Culture, One West, Blue Moon Cinema, Texas Chiropractic Connection, Wake Specialties, O’Brien, Fox Racing, Indo Board, Straightline, Joe Harrison Honda and the TBKS crew for providing great on-site support and some great prizes. Thanks also to Red Bull for giving us wings when we needed them! Thanks to our media partners - Alliance Wakeboard Magazine, INsite Austin Magazine and KROX- 101X Radio, the Texas Ski Ranch for hosting the first stop of the series, the SW Xterra Club, Sky Skier Al Lewin and last, but certainly not least… thanks to all the friends and family who made up the Texas Wakeboard Tour Staff; webmaster Dan Lorey, dock starters Don Burnett, Kubby Avance and Scott Bradley who kept us ahead of schedule, drivers Joey Bradley and Chase Tillman, photographers Richard Crow and Jeremy Linebaugh, “King of the Bracket” Blake Hess, Coral Bradley and Tina Avance in the Rider VIP tent …Richie McKee, Justin Kiefer, Sally and Jeff Knight, Michael Petersen, my mom and sisters and especially Nicky, Katie, Jack and my wife Susie… I couldn’t have done it without you!