The first annual Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge was held at the weekend and saw 35 of the world’s best wakesurfers showing their skills.
The event was the first event of its kind in Canada, the national qualifier for the World Series of Wake Surfing 2012 and it was held at Gold Bay on Lake Koocanusa from August 10 to 12.
With perfect weather throughout the weekend, surfers competed in seven different divisions on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then the finals for the pro division took place on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Over 20 boats made the journey to Gold Bay to watch the event alongside the course on Saturday afternoon. In addition to the competition itself, competitors and their friends and families enjoyed a Friday night welcome barbecue dinner followed by live entertainment by Fernie’s Buffalo Jones. Kirk Fairchild (DJ Friendly Fire) provided beachside music for Saturday afternoon’s competition and played a great set again following dinner on Saturday night.
Sunday morning saw Boardstiff provide a free breakfast for all the competitors, prior to the finals.
The Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge hosted a range of competitors from both the local region and throughout North America, including pro riders Dominic Lagace, James Walker, Jimmi Sparling, Keenan Flegel, Jacqualine Fort, Brian Baker, Sean Cummings and Caroline Villeneuve. Many stayed in the area an extra day to do some more surfing and exploring and said they would be returning next year for the second annual event.
Event six in the international seven-stop competitive series, the KWC gave riders an opportunity to compete and qualify for the premier wakesurfing event in the world: the Centurion World Wake Surfing Championship in Parker, Arizona, September 27 to 29, 2012. Local Fernie surfer, Emily Agate, who won first in the Amateur Women category has already said she will be attending the worlds and is excited about the chance to compete there.
While Wake9.com was unable to provide live coverage of the event as planned (due to the remoteness of Gold Bay and lack of cable internet access there,) they will be producing a video of the event.