Keenan Flegel does tricks on his skim board during a recent competition.

Wakesurfing competition wowed crowds at Koocanusa

Keenan Flegel won top spot for pro men in the surf and skim board categories at the Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge earlier this month.

The Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge came out of hibernation this year and provided a weekend of entertainment on the lake.

The competition, which was hosted at Sunshine Houseboats near Newgate, BC, saw roughly 50 competitors compete for three days, from Aug. 21 to 23. The event was a qualifier for the 2015 World Series of Wake Surfing.

The Challenge returned after a hiatus in 2014, and saw a few less professional riders than normal. That was made up for in how many juniors and amateurs were interested in competing this year.

“We were super stoked on having so many juniors, because usually it’s hard to get the kids to want to compete,” said Caroline Villeneuve, who was one of the main organizers of the event. “That’s one thing that I was very happy about this weekend.”

Keenan Flegel took the top place for pro men in both the surf and skim board categories, while Villenueve herself claimed both women’s titles. Currently Villeneuve is ranked second in the world for the sport, and that’s one of her motivations behind the event. She wants to give local wakesurf enthusiasts a chance to compete and step into the competitive world.

“Four years ago, when I did the first one, there was no other competition in Canada, at all, that was part of the World Series. For local people to access the World’s, they needed to qualify in a world qualifier and we had to go to the States,” Villenueve said. “By doing this, this opens the door to a lot of riders. It’s just to promote the sport. It’s really for fun, and some people take it a little more seriously than others.”

The weather caused a few headaches on Friday, but overall, the event had ideal conditions for the remainder of the weekend. “We had to re-organize the dinner that was supposed to be on Friday and push it to Saturday, it was a lot of re-adjustment along the way, but overall, it ran very smoothly,” said Villenueve.

The Rocky Mountain Wakesurfing Association (RMWA) was the main organizer for the event, but they had help from many sponsors and partners. “We are a very small group, so it is a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” said Villeneuve, who also is the president of the RMWA. “And these kind of events don’t happen without sponsors and volunteers.” Villeneuve also credited H20 School, Drone U, Body Glove, Boardstiff, Gear Hub, Phase Five, Centurion Boats, and Giver Shirt Works, among many others for their help with making the event happen.

Just Posted

Arena repairs ongoing, user groups hosting annual functions elsewhere

A new refrigeration plant is expected to be in place by August 1.

Fernie misses mark for Hockeyville final four

Residents of Fernie were surprised Saturday night, when the final four communities… Continue reading

Fernie local apprehended after break and enter

An eagle-eyed resident has helped Elk Valley police nab an alleged burgler.… Continue reading

Former Riders coach reflects

Mohr looking for new opportunities after contract ends

Athletes ready for world stage

Three Fernie athletes to compete in the world’s biggest junior freeride competition.

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Murder charge upgraded for man accused in Toronto gay village death

Man accused the death of a woman in the Toronto gay village had charge upgraded after new evidence

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

City to lobby province after councillor accused of crime refused to resign

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Most Read