Mid West Wake Fest (July 16th-18th) once again took Ottawa, Illinois by storm. Held on a 14-mile stretch of the Illinois River between the Starved Rock Lock and Dam and the Marseilles Lock and Dam; over 400 wakeboarders, wakeskaters, and wakesurfers from all over the Midwest gathered. Four Star Marina was once again an excellent host with many upgraded amenities including a revamped interior for the bar and grill.
Even though the official kick off of MWWF '04 was not until Friday, July 16th, eager wakeboarders began showing up early on Wednesday. Even before the organizers rolled into town, these diehards had already staked out the peninsula and took their claim of the real estate for the weekend. Waking up to a bright Thursday morning sun, it was time to get to work and get the peninsula set up and ready. As the day went on, more and more MWWF attendees rolled in to hit the water and mingle with everyone else. As the sun started to descend, tents, RVs, pop-ups, cars and boats were scattered over almost the whole peninsula.
Friday began very early for those riders that wanted to catch a few sets before the others were able to shudder off the night before. Products to demo were on hand at the promo tent from Collin Wright Boards, Inland Surfer, Liberation Boards, Trick Boardz, O'Brien, Vew-Do Balance Boards, and Shoreline Lakeboards. On the water were also boats for demoing from Correct Craft, Supra, Centurion, and Calabria. The afternoon brought some more great freeriding as well as the arrival of Ryan Wolfe. Socializing was in the air throughout the day and well into the evening. As the sun went down and the last of the boats got wiped down, campers steered towards Four Star for the MWWF Happy Hour(s), which included tunes by DJ "Get 'er Done".
Saturday I was awoken with the sound of the zipper on my tent opening. As my eyes struggled to focus, I heard a familiar voice of one of my regular riding buddies:
"Forrest, you awake?"
"Huh? What? Jarrod, what the?"
"You ready for your first set of the day? The water is perfect."
"Man, what time is it?"
"Just after 7:00am, you ready?"
"Dude, I just crawled into bed at 5:30am."
(Couple seconds of silence)
"Yeah, drop the boat in and pick me up on the dock off the peninsula."
The rest of Saturday brought a boat full of wakeboarders that set out for a clinic with Ryan Wolfe. Also five teams of four riders with various skill levels were assembled and registered for the MWWF Team Contest. Each team had to make a four-minute video that would be shown and judged later that evening on the enormous patio at Four Star. Saturday was also raffle day, one was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, and the other was to be held later after the team video judging. The MWWF Twilight Double Up contest got under way around 5:00pm and with over 20 riders battling it out for one of three of the Krown, personalized to the event, wakeboard trophies, we almost ran out of sunlight for Ryan Wolfe's wakeboard demonstration. After a flawless run by Wolfe, people made their way back over to Four Star for the team video judging, night raffle, and "Mullet Mayhem" Midwest wakeboard video premier by Boreded Up Productions. After the premier ended, a local band "Fixate" hit the stage to rock out with the MWWF crowd.
Sunday's schedule included a "Ladies Only Boat". At 9:00am, over 15 ladies assembled and shoved off in a Super Air Nautique supplied by Rockford Marina, for an enjoyable outing without the guys. Amongst those ladies was a special guest, pro tour rider, Laura Lohrmann. Ryan Wolfe also got into the mix when he hopped on a boat to spend some more time with some more Midwest riders. Slowly campers began to pack up their belongings and make their trek back home. As the sun began to set, the last of the boats were pulled out of the water and the MWWF crew began the clean up process.
If you are as excited as we are for MWWF 2005, make sure to stop by the Web site. We have pictures from this years event already posted, as well as pictures from past events. Also make sure to drop us a line on the discussion board. We hope you all have a great year of riding and hope to see you all next year. Please remember to support those shops and companies that support Mid West Wake Fest.
Twilight Double Up
1) Nick Canker
2) Darek Mullady
3) Mark Baxter
Best Crash: Corey Williams
Team Video Contest
1) Lady Soulriders
2) Team BS (Board Shop)