Going Bananas for a Good Cause! Banana George Blairfoot Bananza raises nearly $8000

The final numbers are in! The second year of the revival of the Banana George Blairfoot Bananza Barefoot Tournament has raised $5320 to go towards the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation’s Banana George Blair Ambassador College Scholarship.  

Sunday’s Crew

The Blair Family raised an additional $2637 in an online silent auction of Banana George Memorabilia. That’s nearly $8000 for the scholarship which will enable the foundation to raise the award to $3000 a year!

The Banana George Blairfoot Bananza was started decades ago by Banana George himself and this second comeback year of the two-day Barefoot Figure 8 and Endurance Tournament had nearly 50 footers participating from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Barefooting Machine: Mark Donahue dominated both the Pro Figure 8 and Endurance Events

“We just love to see this tournament succeed and keep our Dad’s memory alive,” says Donna Blair who attended the Blairfoot with her granddaughter Hayleigh Blair. Donna, GeeGee and Robin Blair led the charge on the very successful online Banana George Memorabilia auction.

SATURDAY was the Barefoot Figure 8 Tournament.  Two footers go behind a boat driving a Figure 8 pattern in Lake Silver.  Whoever stays up the longest moves on in the bracket, loser moves to loser bracket. Double Elimination.

This year we added a Pro division for previous Figure 8 Tournament winners and anyone who wanted to knock of the top endurance footers in the world.  Lance Smith also led the charge to add more than $3000 in cash prizes for the Figure 8 Winners.  Winners also received Bananza Tchotchkes and Banana George Memorabilia.

What we loved about this incredible year was that 14 of the footers were under the age of 16.  And on Sunday, Noah Kinnaman and Van Jantzen beat all the grown-ups but Lance Smith to place in in the open division! We love to see the next generation of barefooters kicking butt!

Saturday Figure 8 Results:

Junior Figure 8 Winners: Van, Owen & Cam

Junior:

1-Owen Schattschneider

2-Van Jantzen

3-Cam Patton

Senior Figure 8 Winners: Chuck, John & Marty

Senior:

1-John Friede

2-Chuck Bender

3-Marty Levine

Open Figure 8 Winners: Ben, Lance and Ryan

Open:

1- Lance Smith

2- Ben Groen

3-Ryan Kuhns

Donna and Hayleigh Blair (Front) join the Pro Figure 8 Winners:
(Left to Right) Michael Yoder, Wayne King, Mark Donahue, Lance Smith, Mikey Caruso and Ben Groen

Pro:

1- Marc Donahue

2- Wayne King

3- Lance Smith

4- Michael Yoder

5- Ben Groen/ Mikey Caruso

SUNDAY was the Endurance challenge. The boat goes in a large circle and the laps are timed.

Billy Nichols in the Endurance challenge

Sunday Endurance Results:

Van, Noah & Owen with their genuine Banana George Handles

Junior:

1-Noah Kinnaman

2- Van Jantzen

3- Owen Schattschneider

Senior Endurance Winners: Marty, Ron & John

Senior:

1- Ron Coonse

2- John Friede

3- Marty Levine

Open Endurance Winners: Lance & Noah (Van not pictured)

Open:

1- Lance Smith

2- Noah Kinnaman

3- Van Jantzen

Endurance champs: Lance, Mark & Wayne

Pro:

1- Marc Donahue

2- Wayne King

3- Lance Smith

Massive thanks for the generosity of our sponsors: Visit Central Florida, World Barefoot Center, Delray Executive Suites, Celsius Energy Drinks, N3 Boatworks, John Cornish, Just Add Water Media, GeeGee Blair, Robin Blair, Carrie Blair, Donna Blair, LD Plumbing, Indy Ski School, Lance Smith’s Mom, Sharon Guess, Jim Holt and the ABC Southern Region.

Ron Coonse tearing it up!

And so much of the fun would not be possible without the hard work of Ash Stebbeings, Ben Groen, Mikey Caruso, Dad Caruso, Don Simon, Tim Collette, Lance Smith, Ron Coonse, Justin Landers and the entire Carolina Show Ski Team, especially the “Mom Mafia.”

Two incredible members of the Mom Mafia!

Special thanks to Dave Dershimer and his crew with the Cypress Gardens Ski Team for doing concessions, buying bananas, organizing a 50/50 auction, and generally being a positive force for the Banana George Tournament!

Cypress Gardens Chefs

Thanks also to Eric Gran and the Chain of Records Crew for organizing the amazing “Blairfoot Chain of Records Bananaramma Feast!

Be sure to join the Blairfoot fun next year at Lake Silver in Winter Haven, October 29-30, 2022. Registration opens in August.  We will be going old school with the old Banana logo on the shirts in honor of the 100th year of Water Skiing!

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