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Mid West Wake Fest '03 - A Look Back!

By: Annie Haroldson

For those of you that might have missed last years Mid West Wake Fest, or for those of you that may want to relive the memories of their MWWF experience, this article is for you. And remember MWWF ’04 is scheduled for July 16th – 18th in Ottawa, Illinois again.

Midwest Wake Fest had another stellar year in 2003 at the Four Star Marina in Ottawa, Illinois on the scenic Illinois River. Again, Midwest Wake Fest proved that only being able to ride a limited time throughout the year due to Mother Nature doesn’t have to be a set back. If you were looking for talent of all ages and skill levels, then Midwest Wake Fest was the place to be July 18th through the 20th.

The weekend began for some on Thursday, to get there early and find a primo campsite next to the water. And what else? Ride, Ride, Ride!! Mother Nature had another idea for campers that night with wind, hail, heavy rain, and lightning. Those who were in tents toughed it out while others were tucked away in their mobile homes, but the storm didn't put a damper on anyone's weekend.

Friday came, and clean up of tents and banners was the first on the agenda after the evening of storms. More of a crowd showed to get a few pulls and try demo equipment from Cassette, Double Up, Trick Boardz, Wake Tech, Inland Surfer, Kampus Wakeskates, Centurion, Nautiques, and Calabria. Some people hung out on shore and socialized, while others waited patiently by the sign that read, "Stand here for a ride", to catch a pull because they didn't bring their own boat. Friday evening some campers had fires and partied at their tents while others went to the bar at Four Star to loosen up and socialize after a long day of riding.

On Saturday, the height of attendance was estimated at four hundred people and fifty to sixty boats. The day began with a wakeskate clinic where Cassette’s own Thomas Horrell and Danny Hampson gave their professional expertise to Midwest wakeskate rippers. Shortly after, the first team in the team wakeboard competition left from the dock in their own boat with a film crew aboard to tape all team members during their runs. When all teams had been filmed, the tapes were collected, and the crowd would be given the chance to judge the teams during the evening festivities on the patio at Four Star. Three o’clock rolled around and the wakeskate competition went off with an array of dock starts, kick flips, shove-its, and yes, even some attempting crazy inverts. Thomas and Danny manned the microphone and clipboard to both judge and announce the wakeskate competition. Shortly after the winners of the wakeskate competition were announced, Thomas and Danny took to the water to show all Mid West Wake Fest attendees just why they are professionals. Following the wakeskate demo was a double up competition, where riders were given two attempts to show off their biggest tricks. Throughout the three competitions over $20,000 of product from various sponsors was raffled off, and just about everyone walked away with some killer swag.

Saturday evening, the festivities moved to the patio of Four Star where a local band pumped out the tunes all night. The crowd was given the chance to judge the team competition videos and the team pulling in the most applause winning (even if it was for the outfits they wore while throwing their biggest tricks). A special treat was then awarded to everyone when Sfumato, the Cassette wakeskate team’s new video, was premiered. Because of overwhelming response from our sponsors another raffle was held during the evening festivities. The band continued to play until closing time for those who wanted to stay and hang out, party, and socialize after a full day of riding.

Sunday morning rolled around a little to quickly for some of us, could Mid West Wake Fest 2003 really be almost over? Thomas and Danny didn’t think so, they took out yet another group of wakeskaters who wanted some guidance on perfecting their tricks. The ladies also felt they had to have one last blast with Mid West Wake Fest’s first "Ladies Only Boat". Ladies from all over the Midwest got a chance to get out in a boat together with no men and represent the feminine side of Wake Fest. When the ladies arrived back at the dock, they were awarded with an arm load of swag to take home with them from Wake Chicks, Push Clothing, and Chicks Who Rip.

The organizers of Midwest Wake Fest would like to thank each and everyone of the over 60 sponsors that made this event a huge success. Please check out the Mid West Wake Fest website for a complete listing and links to all of the sponsors websites. Also, while you are on the website don’t forget to check out the pictures and videos from the weekend. So if you live in the Midwest, and you are looking for something to do the third weekend in July, or just need to plan a road trip, check out for details on Midwest Wake Fest 2004.

  • Photos from Mid West Wake Fest '03 can be viewed in the Media Center

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