TWIN LAKES, Wis. (August 22, 2017) – More than 100 waterski enthusiasts spanned the shores of Lake Mary in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin last Thursday, August 17, for the inaugural Backyard Buoys & Corn. Offering a slight twist on traditional slalom, the throwback contest included 30-plus competitors, with the furthest coming from Central Florida thanks to Footin.com that brought Keith St. Onge, an 18-time U.S. National Barefoot champion, to the event.
Each competitor had five passes on the four-buoy slalom course, earning raffle tickets for each buoy passed. Tickets were also awarded for successfully entering and exiting each gate as well as for spinning between runs. Athletes were also encouraged to compete on old wood skis for an extra two tickets per buoy passed. Aside from raffles, the only actual prize awarded during the competition was for Most Standout Performance, which was presented to Dave Thornton who sported an American Flag Speedo while running the course on a triple fin, single jump waterski. He was awarded a custom Masterline USA corn-colored edition slalom handle. The point leaders of the event were world barefoot water ski champions St. Onge with 83 points and Kailey Koehler with 81. Alex Yunker and Aaron “Nelly” Nelson followed the pro athletes, both with 73 points.
“Besides the 165 ears of corn, the greatest part about this event was that it introduced so many to slalom. We had a lot of first-timers on the water, who traditionally waterski, show ski or barefoot for fun, as well as a handful of others who haven’t slalomed in years,” said Dano the Mano, who organized the event with Ken Meyer.
He added, “No doubt there was an undeniable energy throughout the event. And, to pay it forward by raising $500 for the WSIA’s #PassTheHandle initiative is an amazing feeling.”
Proceeds from the event went directly to the Water Sports Industry Association’s (WSIA) “#PassTheHandle” initiative, which encourages water sports enthusiasts to teach a first-timer to ride, ski, tube, etc. Munson Ski & Marine matched the event’s donation for a total of $500 toward the initiative. Through donations, the WSIA is able to grant seed money to wake parks and schools to fuel #PassTheHandle events where first-times learn for free.
“Normally, slalom contests are very competitive but this was intended to be a no pressure event that put a fun twist on a traditional sport,” said Dano the Mano. He added that he hopes to organize several events throughout the year—similar to Backyard Buoys & Corn and Feet on Fire—that add a slight twist to traditional competitions.
The event included more than 15 raffle prizes, totaling $5,000-plus in value. Five of the prizes were for competitors only and featured a Radar trick ski, Connelly 67” V and $500 in SeaDek Marine Products from SC Wake. The towboat, a 2017 Malibu Boats Response TXi, was provided by Munson Ski & Marine of Volo, Illinois and was driven all afternoon by Mike Misch of End of the Line ski school. Other sponsors of the event include: House Akros, Footin.com, Masterline USA, O’Brien Water Sports, HO Sports, WoodRoze Sustainable Optics, GoPuck and The Golden Mic Podcast.
ABOUT DANNY “DANO THE MANO” AMIR:
Danny “Dano the Mano” Amir, also known as “the Noise of the North,” is the official voice of the World Wake Association. With more than a decade on the mic, Dano announces the World’s largest pro wakeboard and waterski events year after year. He is also the host of the Golden Mic Podcast, which is the only podcast dedicated solely to towed watersports, primarily wakeboarding and waterskiing. The podcast is delivered twice monthly, free of charge, via NoiseoftheNorth.com, iTunes and SoundCloud. It features interviews with the sports’ most recognizable past and present pro athletes as well as coverage from events throughout the year. Visit www.NoiseoftheNorth.com for more information.