FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2002
For over 30 years MasterCraft has been fueling the growth of competition watersports at every level and sponsoring elite athletes that mirror the competitive drive and spirit of the company. MasterCraft reaffirmed that commitment in 2002 by welcoming current U.S. Barefoot National Trick and Overall Champion, World Games Overall, Slalom and Trick Champion, and World Trick Record Holder, Keith St. Onge onto the MasterCraft Pro Team.
''Keith is the best pro barefooter in the world,'' said a zealous Skip Gilkerson, Director of Skiing. ''There have been some great barefooters; Siepel, Scarpa and Wing are the 3 that come to mind. They are the Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan of the sport. Keith is on that level.''
At the age of 24, St. Onge is already a three-time National Overall Barefoot Champion, a two-time U.S. Open Slalom & Trick Champion and an international aquatic icon. In August, St. Onge traveled from his Tampa training grounds to Akita, Japan, for the World Games where he won three gold medals in men's barefooting. He scored a 16.1 in wake crossing, 6,850 in slalom and tricks, and jumped 66 feet to secure the overall championship with 2,792.61 points. A week earlier he bared his soles before the U.S. Barefoot National judges and footed his way to another overall championship. On January 14, 2002, St. Onge will travel to New Zealand to coach the Junior World Team.
St. Onge has his own barefoot camp, Gliding Soles, in Tampa, has multiple sponsors and is focused on winning this year's World Championship title. ''I want to ski my best at the World's and break my 8,400 point trick record,'' said St. Onge. ''I know I can kill that record skiing behind a MasterCraft. I've skied 9200 before, but the judges subtracted some points.''
St. Onge recently took delivery of a new 2002 ProStar 190 EVO. The first towboat ever approved by the AWSA for all 5 competitive water ski events, including barefooting. During the fall, USA Water Ski tested the tournament-bred hull with the new MasterCraft exclusive 2002 Cadillac LQ9 HO 6.0 385hp engine. They loaded it with 5 passengers and clocked it at a top speed of 46 mph. ''Keith will be a hall-of-famer someday,'' said Gilkerson. ''He's got a great disposition and he's driven to be #1. The best years are ahead of him.'' After coaching in New Zealand, St. Onge plans to return to Tampa and resume training behind his new MasterCraft. ''I'm honored and proud to be on the team knowing how much MasterCraft has contributed to the sport and the quality of their boats,'' said St. Onge. ''I hope to be with MasterCraft for a long time.'' MasterCraft is the world's largest producer of inboard and V-drive water ski, wakeboard and luxury performance powerboats. Located in Vonore, Tennessee, tours of our 300,000-square-foot facility are not just available to the press, they are encouraged.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rob May or Casey Quilter