Wakeboard Event on Lake Wier
Story by Susan Winfree      Photos by Bonnie Alexander


What a treat for Wakeboarding Fans!  Of the 20 Top Professional boarders in the WORLD, 15 of them participated in the 'Sport City Shootout'  put on by Bill Ray, owner of Sports City Marine of Ocala and hosted by the one and only Gator Joe's on Lake Weir Saturday. Gator Joe's was packed!


Everyone wanted to see the Pro's in action. They watched in amazement as these guys (and a gal) got some air and did flips & spins high above the wake of the boat. The winner of the Pro rider competition was Phillip Soven, from Longwood, who just turned 16 in June. He is already ranked #1 in World Cup and Pro Wakeboard tour standings for 2005.

There were 4 divisions:  Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Pro.  After the amateur tournament (beginner thru advanced),  was the Pro Rider Competition with $20,000. in prize money. The love of the sport is why they do this,  but the money ain't bad either!  All the competitors put on a great show.  Jared Davis, the youngest competitor in beginner division, is from High Springs and he is 6 (YES SIX) years old !     

A local wakeboarding club has been started by Nate Stockman, a Sport City employee and a competitor. They held their first event two months ago at Carney Island Park.  Anyone interested can contact Nate at Sport City Marine in Ocala.