Ambush/Buywake.com BYOB Wakeboard Series Championships
Sports are tough on your body. Especially action sports like wakeboarding and wakeskating. As competitive seasons roll along participants can get worn out and some get injured…others get hot and start performing at the highest levels of the season. That was the story of the Ambush/Buywake.com BYOB Series Championships this past Saturday at Lake Frances.
The competition was fierce as the best of the best amateur wakeboarders in the Southeast all vied for the BYOB crown and $1,200 in cash (a record purse for an amateur event). Many riders gave standout performances including 12 and Under division winners Theresa Anderson and Mathew Hope, Women competitors Dawn Nobles, Sandy Nichols, and Courtney Dutson, and Intermediate division powerhouse Scott Perkins. However, the dichotomy of the slumping and peaking rider is what made the BYOB Championships the most exciting contest of the summer.
The first of these situations came in the Beginner Men division where the number two seed, Daniel Rothove, arrived wearing a back brace protecting the lumbar area he hurt just one day before the contest. An aching Rothove still wanted to compete regardless of his condition…he would not miss his chance to claim the BYOB crown for anything. Fellow Beginner Nick Bode, who barely qualified for the event, had been riding hard the past three weeks to put together a run that would earn him his first tournament championship. His hard work paid off as he stomped a backroll to take the Beginner Men crown.
The Wakeskate division had a similar circumstance where equal first seed Nic Sharp decided to compete in spite of his injury. His sore body hindered his performance and landed him fourth place. However, wakeskaters John Clark and Chris Richardson have been on fire the past month. John Clark, who had never finished higher than fifth place in a competition, landed a pair of big spins and a variety of lip maneuvers to earn the bronze medal. Young gun Chris Richardson has been climbing the competitive ladder all year. After a dismal showing at Stop #1, Chris earned a fourth place finish at Stop #2 and third place at Stop #3. He was easily the hottest wakeskater coming into the competition…but in the end Florida native Sammy Woodson put together a series of lip trick combos that would have made Rodney Mullen ill. Chalk up another victory for Sammy.
The Advanced Men division was both disappointed and relieved when they got word that equal second seed Jamie Graff injured himself right before the tournament and was not going to be able to compete in the event. The Advanced division all wanted to compete against a rider of his skill…but was not all too upset at a slightly easier field. Dustin Teeples, who began the year in the Intermediate division, was the one who put it all together when it counted, stepped up his performance, and walked away with the gold medal and a stack of twenty dollar bills.
Death or glory was the tone of the tournament…unless you always win…or your name is Rhett Whatley. The number one seeded Outlaw rider Rhett Whatley did it again by winning his second straight BYOB tournament and the Championship crown. Things are looking good for the 125 pounder. Not only did Rhett pocket $1,200 in earnings over the course of the BYOB Series, he received an invite to vie for $10,000 in the Ambush/Buywake.com Slider Slam Invitational on September 11th at the Gravity Research Center. Hey Rhett…why don’t you send some of that cash this way.
Shout outs to all that made the BYOB Championships a success...especially George Osber, Greg Brooks, Tim Pratt, Snead, Pat Cash, F.J., John Clark, WARDO!!!!, The Ambush and Buywake.com crew, Daniel Harf, Jon Lindsay, Ryan Wolfe, Kyle Schmidt, Eddie Beverly and Hyperlite, Rachel and UGP, Matt Long and Reef, Southern Rockets, Rip Curl, Fox Racing, DVS, and Pro Tec.