The second annual Kirby’s School of Wake Personal Best Contest took place on Saturday, September 26. Many families, friends, and students came out to support Pro Wakeskater, Matt Manzari and Pro Wakeboarder, Brad Smeele in their continued recoveries from tragic accidents last year.
It was a warm, fall day – the perfect day for a wakeboarding contest to close out the summer season. Participants began trickling into registration around noon gearing up for the day’s activities. After a brief rider’s meeting, the festivities began out in the cove. It was quite the sight with eight or more boats tied up spectating the event as well as other weekenders exploring the area. The wake surfing division was first off the dock and the most animated, creative group of the day. From kick-outs to headstands, wake slashes to party starts, there was definitely tough competition. Miss Alex Roberts came away with the first place title after her surprising fake out comeback into the wake. The beginner wakeboard division was next and was a father-son dual. Son, Tyler Jennings walked away with first place after his impressive wake jumps and surface 180. The intermediate division consisted of another group of skilled riders. The talented young, Aidan Siemer took first showcasing his stylish grabs and one-wake backroll. The day concluded with the expert division. Riders brought their best tricks and Ben Vens took first with his run of heelside backroll, toeside front roll, Indy tantrum, scarecrow, Indy poke, toeside backroll, and Indy front flip.
After the final run of the day, everyone cruised over to the Wake Effects dock to enjoy BBQ, chips, homemade cookies, and refreshing Gatorade and water. Jennings Premium Meats generously donated the hamburgers and hotdogs for the event. Participants, families, and friends wound down the evening enjoying dinner after a long day on the water, browsing through merchandise, and competing for a winning ticket for the raffle of Xcel lifejackets. The winners of the competition were announced closing out the evening. The most amazing part of the day was experiencing the wakeboard community rallying together for such a great cause. Everywhere you turned you were met with smiles, laughter and a helping, generous hand. This is a really special, fun event and one you’ll definitely want to mark on your calendar for next year. What better way to close out the summer than wakeboarding with all of your friends?
The day overflowed with support and love for Brad and Matt. Because the generosity of everyone involved, we were able to donate over $1,500 to split between Matt and Brad. You made a difference! It was an honor to be a part of. We are extremely grateful to our friends and sponsors for helping make this event possible including Pop’s Beef Sticks, Zinka, Fox, Wake Effects and Xcel who generously donated many items for prizes and surprises for participants. We would also like to thank Joe Vanderveld for driving the contest boat and bringing a crew from Link Year Ministries to help with the contest. At Kirby’s School of Wake we ride for a purpose. It’s a privilege to host events that reflect our Heavenly Father’s loving, fun, and giving heart. Check out the recap video below to get a look into what the day was like. Enjoy!