Video highlights and photos from the first ever Toronto Indoor Wakeboard Championships presented by Toronto International Boat Show.
Full Press Release Below:
The Canadian wake sports community came together as it does every January at the Toronto International Boat Show to check out the latest in wake boats, boards and more, except with an exciting new twist on the Show’s closing weekend: a pro indoor wake contest!
Flooding a professional hockey stadium within the Boat Show’s expansive building created the world’s largest indoor lake featuring over a million gallons of water!
For the past several years the Show has been running wakeboard demos on the indoor lake in conjunction with Canada’s Boarder Pass wake park crew.
More recently the Boat Show contemplated taking the next step to host a major contest for 2019 to further support wake sports!
Once the Show announced its plans to create the Toronto Indoor Wakeboard Championship, it didn’t take long for the wake community to rally behind it!
The Championship quickly attracted some of world’s best pros to battle for $10,000 cash! Canada’s best ams were also invited to compete for $3,500 in product prizes and a chance to ride against the pros. Worth noting, the Championship provided equal “top five” podium prize money for girls and guys!
The event set-up featured a double sided kicker and a flat-down rail with transfer wedge with riders pulled by a Sesitec System 2. With a best of 3-4 runs format (one kicker and one rail hit per), the contest featured fast-paced “pass-the-handle” 30-40 minute sessions that kept the thousands of spectators stoked. For the prime time pro rider heats, the hockey stadium was packed with boating and water sports enthusiasts, many seeing pro wakeboarding up close for their very first time.
T-shirt tosses, lights, music, lively play-by-play announcing and pro autograph sessions kept the audience engaged and provided a very cool contest vibe!
The Pro Men’s Finals stacked up with Guenther Oka and John Dreiling qualifying first out of their qualification heats, followed by Mickey Henry, Derek Pontoon, Quinn Silvernale, Riley Dillon, Oli Derome and Cole Wojtek. The Women’s Finals was just as tight with Meagan Ethell in the pole position followed by Kaitlyn Adams, Kelsey Chiappa, Michela Phillips and Dani Brown.
The best of four run finals was an extremely tight fight with everyone stepping up their game for the cash! The rail in particular saw full-pull style combined with big transfers and technical spins on and off!
The story of contest has to be John Dreiling vs Guenther Oka! On John’s first run of the finals he clipped his forearm on the rail during a hand drag transfer attempt. As it turned out he hit his arm hard enough to require 4-5 stitches. With blood starting to drip out of his wetsuit sleeve and waiving off medical attention, John made his second run count. He stomped a bs 540 transfer onto the rail followed by a perfect double-grabbed mobe off the kicker. That ended his contest with the medics shuttling him off for medical attention, but it was enough to nose out Guenther for the win! After getting stitched up, John made it back from the hospital just in time to climb to the top of the podium and hoist his $1,500 winners cheque!
Huge thanks to the Toronto International Boat Show for their leadership and support to make this awesome event a reality. And thanks to the wake community and industry for getting behind what will hopefully be an annual highlight of the winter off-season. Lots of ideas already percolating on building on this year’s great event!
Presented by the Toronto International Boat Show and supported by Boarder Pass, Wake Canada, SBC Wake, Ronix, Humanoid, Follow, Boardsports Canada, Connelly, Sesitec, Windmill Wake Park, Ontario Wake and EZ-Dock!
1. Meagan Ethell, USA – $1,500
2. Michela Phillips, CAN – $1,000
3. Kaitlyn Adams, USA – $800
4. Kelsey Chiappa, CAN – $700
5. Dani Brown, CAN – $650
1. John Dreiling, USA – $1,500
2. Guenther Oka, USA – $1,000
3. Riley Dillon, CAN – $800
4. Mickey Henry, CAN – $700
5. Derek Pontoon, USA – $650
6. Oli Derome, CAN – $550
7. Quinn Silvernale, USA – $450
8. Cole Wojtek, USA – $350
1. Wake Purdy, CAN
2. Joey Braden, CAN
3. Tristan Weber, USA
4. John McTavish, CAN
5. Gavin Fisk, CAN
6. Nick Prehn, CAN