Organizer Greg Badal estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators came out to watch 100 skiers carve curtains of Bay water skyward over the course of three days. “It was awesome,” Badal said. “We had great weather. Skiers from all over the world were here.”
The trophy stand took on an international feel. Canada’s Whitney McClintock won the Open Women division, while the USA’s Regina Jaquess and Australia’s Karina Nowland rounded out the top three. In the Open Men division, New Zealand’s Aaron Larkin beat Americans Nick Parsons and Nate Smith.
Chad Scott claimed the Master Men’s title while Don Stanford was the top amateur. In addition to serving as tournament organizer, Badal finished in third place in the Master Men’s contest. While impressed by the pros, Badal called the amateurs the backbone of the sport. Roughly 40 of them from the United States and Canada participated.
The amateurs took to the water Friday; the pros Saturday and Sunday. Of the pros, 30 were top men, 15 were top women and 15 were Masters.
“It’s a world-class site,” Badal said. “We run a world-class event. You know that if you set a world record, it will stand. Athletes really want to have an event like that. It’s also a really relaxed event. There are skiers and spectators that have known these guys for years.”
In addition the top professionals and amateurs, some of the greats from the sport’s past were also honored. Carl Roberg and brothers Kris and Bob LaPiot were once again in attendance. In their prime more than 30 years ago, they’re are now honored annually as the Legends.
The event was covered by a worldwide live Webcast. More than 10,000 people logged on to witness the competition, something Badal said will continue next year on www.diabloshores.com.