By Mark Shank & Blake Ehlers
The South Central Region is footing into the 2019 season! The Barefoot Blowout took place on June 8-9th organized by the Austin Barefoot Ski Club, in Conroe, Texas at the Stevenson Ski Ranch. This water ski haven will also be the site of the 2021-22 U.S. Barefoot National Championships.
We were blessed before and after the tournament with a clinic run by World Champion Ashleigh Stebbeings. Everyone who skied with Ash greatly improved their technique and had a blast while doing it. Yea… she’s kind of a big deal!
We also had skiers form other regions including Brett “Slalom” Swanbom and Don “I’m jumping at Worlds” Stoppe. This was a low-key “pick and choose” tournament that allowed skiers to announce at the dock what event they were skiing.
Several skiers posted personal bests including Durant Rollins with at 10.0 in Slalom, Brett Swanbom with at 13.4 in slalom, and VonL “Crash” Adams with a 840 in tricks and 6.3 in slalom elevating him to Men’s B skier in the performance divisions. Thirteen-year-old Brett’s slalom score was also the best among all skiers not named Ashleigh.
Andre DeVilliers wowed the crowd with an afternoon freestyle freak show—amazing particularly since he has been off the water nearly 10 years. In the competition, he recorded a 24.8 in jump and a 5280 in tricks!
Don Stoppe, setting the record for longest distance to travel in order to compete, was stoked when he qualified for the 2020 World Barefoot Championships with at 11.3 meter jump on his last try!And, as usual, his wife Arlene jumped in and helped out wherever she could.
A big thank you to the sponsors; The Austin Barefoot Ski Club, Pedernales Construction, Jimmy’s Ski School, Mark Shank, Chad Sullivan and particularly the Stevenson family for allowing us to use their site.
We are looking forward to our Regional Tournament at the Blue Mile in Beaumont, Texas. on July 27-28. Y’all come join us! Contact Mark Shank!
And remember… get up early and get footin!