By Faith Dix
The final barefoot tournament of 2022 is in the books after a fabulous weekend on Lake Grew in Polk City, Florida. The fourth annual Mike Salber Memorial Tournament attracted footers from all over the country, and Canada came out to ski through the morning fog, midday Florida sun, and a gorgeous sunset to finish the long day of skiing.
Full results can be found here.
For the first time, the Mike Salber Memorial had a live stream of the event! HUGE thank you to John Garrity for being the backbone of the operation. He has been working on the system for months, and it was greatly appreciated at the tournament for viewers at home and those on shore to get a better view of the action on the water.
Sam Dubs was also a huge help along with Mallory Dubs mastering the drone shots. Taylor Nullmeyer and Brett Swanbom also helped in running the live stream when John was out on the water himself!
Along with flying the drone, Mallory Dubs became a rated scorer at this tournament! She is starting to get involved with the behind-the-scenes of the tournament, and we hope to see her hitting the water at a tournament in the future!
This was one of the last chances to qualify for the World Championships. More than 32 competitors came out to put some scores on the board. For Brian Basaraba and Gage Vincent, it was their first tournament experience. They are both looking forward to competing more in the future. Where will we see them next?! We know… January 7th! Last Chance Worlds Qualifier at Lake Grew: REGISTER HERE.
The 2023 World Barefoot Tournament will be held in Mulwala, Australia in February. A few coming to the tournament in search of world qualifying spots were Carter Boerman, Brice Storman, Faith Dix, Alexis Dix, and Amara Bruns.
Carter sent three huge inverted jumps and skied away from all of them. His first jump surpassed his previous personal best and qualified him for Open Men’s Jump at the world’s. His jumps were 18.3 meters, and 19.6 meters, and broke 20 meters with a 20.4-meter jump! Carter has now posted a world qualifying score for every event in Juniors and Open for the worlds.
The old veteran, 19-year-old Brice Storman has come out of “retirement” to compete in the U23 division at the worlds. He will be competing in the slalom event. Brice posted a slalom score of 17.2 officially qualifying him in the open division as well. There are no qualifying scores for the U23 division as this is a new division at the worlds. The main purpose of this division is to give another chance to the skiers who missed out on their last junior division worlds due to the pandemic. Brice is one of those skiers, as he was on the junior team for the 2020 world championships.
Faith Dix had high nerves coming into the tournament. Her main focus was that she needed to land a jump to be able to jump at worlds. Previously, the only tournament she had jumped at was Nationals in August, but she failed to land any of the three attempts. Leading up to the tournament, her main focus was only jumping in preparation for the weekend. Faith missed her first jump of 12.7 meters, BUT she boosted and landed her second jump at 11.0 meters!
Alexis Dix is following her sister’s footsteps. The Mike Salber Tourney was only her second tournament. Alexis competed in both slalom and trick with only ever crossing the wake three times ever the day before. She posted a trick score of 440 and a slalom score of 2.88. Both just shy of the Junior world’s qualifying scores but hopes to reach those at the January 7th last chance world’s qualifying tournament at Lake Grew!
Junior worlds team member Amara Bruns also came to the tournament hoping to land a jump. She spent two weeks at the World Barefoot Center prior to the tournament with the main focus of jumping. She went from only ever jumping on the boom to landing her first two longline attempts in the span of a week’s time. The Mike Salber Memorial jumps were Amara’s first jumps in a tournament. She, unfortunately, failed to land a jump in the tournament but she will also be returning to the January 7th tournament.
Speaking of first longline jumps in a tournament, it was also Michael Yoder’s, aka Berry Sam, first longline jumps ever! His second jump almost granted him a score on the board, but unfortunately only walked away with some bruised ribs and thigh. However, Yoder did trick and slalom some personal bests! He tricked 1100 points and slalomed 8.6!
John Garrity and Jason Blackburn competed in jump for the second time both landing them! Jason landed a PB of 9.2 meters and John landed an 8.5 meter jump!
There were a total of FIVE skiers competing from Canada. Those included Brian Basaraba, Christina Nadalin, Christian Richards, Taylor Nullmeyer, and Duane Godfrey.
Taylor skied a personal best in tricks with a score of 1090! One of his tricks was a wake-to-wake hop which we don’t see very often! The Canada crew skied until the very end right into the sunset. The whole day was definitely used!
Thank you to Teri Jones and Deanna Dean for your time judging in the boat. Thank you, Scott Jones and Jim Forster for driving. Duane Godfrey was a champ for spending most of his day in the boat driving and judging while also finding time to ski.
Thank you to all others who helped in the boat, on the jetski, or onshore in any way. Those include Dan Boerman, Trey Edwards, Carter Boerman, Alexis Dix, Faith Dix, Brett Swanbom, Ashleigh Stebbeings (Groen), Ben Groen, and Brice Storman.
Voices on the Mic all day were Mikey Caruso, Mike Jenkins and Brett Swanbom. Thank you Sandy Boerman for the breakfast fuel.
We also held a drawing for the USA Barefoot Team Fundraising Raffle! Below are the winners!