2019 Barefoot Nationals brings a changing of the guard in Barefoot Water Skiing as Gerard, McCauley, claim overall titles

A new generation is making history in barefoot water skiing… feet first.

The 2019 U.S. Barefoot Nationals are in the books after a final day dominated by the young phenoms of our sport… from South Dakota’s 9-year-old Amara Bruns competing in her first Nationals to Florida’s 16-year-old Jackson Gerard claiming his first National Overall Title after just missing the title by four points in 2018.

Jackson Gerard captured all Open Pro titles!

In the Open Pro Mens Division, Jackson Gerard won tricks with 11,600 points, slalom with an 18.8, jump with a 23.5 meter jump and the Overall title.  While he was winning all of these titles, he also spent most of the day driving the pick up boat for other events.

“It doesn’t matter if he one of the best in the world… he still pitches in to make every tournament success.  We just love that young man,” says Chief Judge Andrea Formella.

Lexi McCauley tricked a new U.S. Open Womens of 5800 points.

In the Open Womens division, Lexi McCauley started the day with a trick run she made up as she went along… scoring 5800 points and a confirmed Open Womens National Record!  Lexi eclipsed the old record by nearly twice!  Lexi went on to win slalom with 14.5 and the Overall Title.  Alex Youngblood won Open Womens jump with a 10.5 meter jump and finished second overall. Ryleigh Stenson was third in tricks! Teri Jones finished third in Slalom.

Father Daughter
The Father Daughter Medal Stand

The Open Women Tricks Medal Ceremony was also a time to recognize the Dads who competed with and got beat by their daughters at the U.S. Nationals. Jim Youngblood joined Alex,  Mark McCauley, who was also the 2019 Mens A Overall Champion, joined Lexi and Rick Stenson joined Ryleigh on the medal stand. We love our barefoot families!

The Open Mens division was filled with several generations of barefooters.  The Legend, Doug Jordan, won jump with a 13.6 meter leap, Jim Forster won Slalom with a 14.4 and “Flipping” Jerry Kanawyer won tricks with 4400 points and the Overall title.  But 13-year-old Brett Swanbom,who was competing for the first time in Open Mens, made quite a statement, finishing second in tricks, and third overall.

Kelly Fill-in-the-Blank and Ash Stebbeings of Australia

In the International Womens division, Australia’s Ash Stebbeings finished first in tricks with 9410 points, first in slalom with a 17.8 and first in jump with a 20.5 meter launch.  Fellow Australian Kelly Blank finished in second and sent a pending Australian National Record.

Will Jump
Will Leigh the Flying Kiwi!

New Zealand’s Will Leigh, captured all of the International Mens titles and also won the title of the nicest Kiwi in the tournament.

The most exciting events of the tournament were the Boys and Girls divisions where so many new, young faces were on the dock.  It was one of the largest showings of junior skiers in many years.

Young Guns
Kevin, Amara, Megan, Martin, Orval, Carter, Ellis, Cole, Michael, James and Dawson on the dock

In the Girls B division, 9-year-old Amara Bruns won Tricks, Slalom and Overall… all while talking, smiling and qualifying for the 2020 World Barefoot Championships.

Amara Bruns tears it up in Girls B Slalom… qualifying for the Junior World Championships

In Boys B, The Minnesota Twins of Orval and Martin Cyr dominated… finishing first and second respectively in tricks, slalom, jump and the overall.  Carter Boerman was right on their heels in his very first National Tournament!

Boys B
Martin Cyr, Orval Cyr and Carter Boerman on the medal stand for Boys B
Orval Slalom
Orval Cyr shows off his one foot back slalom skills in Boys B

In Girls A, Ryleigh Stenson won slalom, jump and overall.  Megan Adams won tricks with 1290 points… followed closely by Sammi Eaton.

Girls A
Sammi Eaton, Ryleigh Stenson and Megan Adams on the medal stand for Girls A

In the large Boys A Division, the competition and the sportsmanship was incredible. Ellis Osborn won Tricks, Jump and the Overall title. Michael Sousa won slalom… but Cole Stellmacher, Dawson Wallen, James Bruns and Kevin Garrity really gave Ellis and Michael a run for their money!

Boys A Medal
Mike Sousa, Ellis Osborn and James Bruns on the medal stand for Boys A.

Overall Titles:

US Nationals Overall Scores

  • Men A – Mark McCauley (Ohio)
  • Men B – Corey Jones (Missouri)
  • Men C – Ryan Hayes (Wisconsin)
  • Women A – Betsy Gilman (Georgia)
  • Women B – Deanna Dean (Florida)
  • Boys A – Ellis Osborn (Florida)
  • Boys B – Orval Cyr (Minnesota)
  • Girls A – Ryleigh Stenson (Minnesota)
  • Girls B – Amara Bruns (South Dakota)
  • International Men – Will Leigh (New Zealand)
  • International Women – Ash Stebbeings (Australia)
  • Master Men – Jimmy Taurus (Texas)
  • Senior Men – Paul Oman (Minnesota)
  • Veteran Men – Al Hager (Florida)
  • Veteran Women – Sharon Carlson (Wisconsin)
  • Open Pro Men – Jackson Gerard (Florida)
  • Open Women – Lexi McCauley (Ohio)
  • Open Men – Jerry Kanawyer (California)

For the first time, Nationals had a Regional Team Competition. The Chief Judge gave points for placement and participation!  The Midwest won top honors followed by The South and The East.  The Midwest awarded their trophy to the Heller Family, our incredible hosts at the Blue Moo.

Massive thanks go out to Tournament Directors Andrew Martin, Shannon Klahn and Mike Molepske.  Thanks also to the Adams Family, Joe Knapp, Dan Baumgartner, and Brent Payne for supplying the tournament boats and all of the help!

Thanks to Deanna Dean and the World Barefoot Center for organizing the livestream coverage!  WOW!!!!!

And we all missed Super Veteran Jim Boyette who has never missed a national competition until now.  Poor health kept him home in Florida.

Now, Joe Knapp holds the title of only barefooter to compete in all three events in every single barefoot nationals… yup, 42 tournaments in row!

US Nationals Overall Scores

We will see you next year in Polk County, Florida for the 2020 U.S. Barefoot Nationals August 13-16!  Until then, support your local tournaments!

Willie and Amara
Willie Farrell and Amara Bruns are number one!




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