Kiwi Ben Groen is in charge of hauling ABC Southern Regional equipment to tournaments. On the morning of the PGA Season Opener in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Ben loaded equipment and several young barefooters into the truck to drive three hours to bring it all to the tournament.
And then Ben really brought it.
Ben set a pending New Zealand Record of 12,050 in tricks. One of just four people in the world who have broken 12,000 points. This, after setting up tents, tables, hauling gas and driving the boat for dozens of the barefooters in the tournament.
Yes, this guy is unbelievable. Building the sport in the USA and around the world while crushing records AND the competition.
KSO and Smallz better be ready to #FeartheFern. (STAY TUNED FOR VIDEO)
But crushing records didn’t just come from the land of the long white cloud.
Canadian Duane Godfrey who also drove and judged in the tournament, set pending Canadian records with scores of 4610 in Tricks and 14.4 in Slalom. This guy is 62-freakin-years-old… and built like a brick wall! He learned toe turns on his feet AFTER turning 60.
If Duane “Captain Intensity” Godfrey keeps this up… he may be giving Ben some competition.
American Carol Jackson is also barefooting hardcore past 60 and demolished some USA Womens 6 records.
She may be small, but she is fierce. Scoring 5.3 in slalom and 1390 in tricks, she far surpassed the old records!
Some cool moments happened on shore too.
Tournament Director Jim Forster realized we had a plethora of current and former Junior World Champions in the tournament including 2016 Junior Overall World Champion Jackson Gerard, 2016 Junior World Jump Champion Tom Heaps, 2001 Junior Overall World Champion Mike Caruso and 1997 Junior Overall World Champion Jason Lee.
And behind them, a whole new crop of American young guns.
Stefan Lippelgoos, Brice Storman, Logan Walter, Brett Swanbom, Ellis Osborn, Ana Gerard and Sammi Eaton are the south’s new up and comers! OK… Sammi is from Wisconsin but we count her anyway!
They footed, they helped with ropes, running camera in the boat and basically hauled stuff around for the demanding Chief Scorer! Y’all are the BEST! So Region, So Cool!
Logan Walter also is on his way to L4 Scorer by scoring some tough sheets in his practical scorers exam!
Massive thanks go out to Jim Forster who always plans such a great event at the C-18 Canal… we love this little tournament! Thanks Jim! And thanks to Chief Judge Dale Stevens for officiating the barefoot tournament instead of the stick skier tournament!
Thanks to Lenny Tremblay and Brad Henderson who drove the gator scaring pick-up boat all day!
And Mike Molepske who made a guest appearance from Wisconsin as the Chief Homologator and Boat Judge! He is always a great addition to any tournament!
The next ABC Tournament on the schedule is the Aggie Barefoot Day in Austin, Texas on April 29! And don’t forget about the Southern Splash on May 22 at Lake Grew in Polk City, Florida… site of the 2017 Barefoot Nationals!
Whatever you do… get out there… GO BAREFOOT and support your local tournaments!