Footapalooza Figure 8 Barefoot Event and Greg Wilkinson Memorial

Footapalooza Figure 8 and Greg Wilkinson Memorial

June 22-23rd

Rolling Prairie, Indiana

and clinic with Ben Groen

Every June, for the last four years, Mark Donahue, myself and a few others have organized a Figure 8 barefoot event the small town of Rolling Prairie, Indiana.  This cozy little town is situated between La Porte, In. and Notre Dame on a small lake behind a church.  This lake called Silver lake is surrounded by trees on 3/4ths and a grassy hill for the last 1/4.  Just big enough for a figure 8 and about 200 ft short for a 3 event lake.  The site offers plenty of area for camping on site and a port-a-potty.  Traditionally on the Friday before the event, Mark and I spend the morning clearing some of the lily pads and setting up the course followed with plenty of horse playing and figure 8 practicing.  We like to start the event between 0800 and 0900 on Saturday depending on the number of footers.

After the event is over we have a BBq and a bonfire with music.  Then on Sunday we like to enjoy a day of fun skiing and relaxing.  The tournament has always been called Footapalooza, but this year we have decided to change the name a little.  This year we are calling it Footapalooza figure 8 Barefoot Event and Greg Wilkinson memorial.  Greg Wilkinson was a fellow barefooter and good friend who lost his battle to cancer this year.  Greg was a great person who always had a smile on his face and loved to barefoot.  So, starting this year Mark and I decided to change the name of our tournament in memory of Greg.  In the years past we had cash payouts and trophies.  This year we will only have trophies.  After tournament expenses, we will be donating the money gathered from the entry fees to Greg’s wife Penny, for a charity of her choice.

This Figure 8 tournament is a very friendly and easy-going event.  For those that are unfamiliar with figure 8 barefooting, the boat tows 2 footers in a figure 8 pattern until one footer falls.  There are a few challenges throughout out the figure 8 pattern, but the most challenging obstacle is the set of rollers caused by the tow boat.  Mark and I believe everyone should get a chance to give it a go if they desire, so we believe in the phrase “no footer left on the dock.”  In other figure 8 events a footer would have to step off a ski, well here we allow either, step off or deep up.  We like everyone to have fun and be as comfortable as possible.  The entry fee is $40.00, for this double elimination event.  We are hoping for a big turnout to honor a friend and have a great time.

Clinic with Ben Groen:

Additionally, this year I am putting out feelers for any interested skiers that would like to host New Zealand’s national champ, #4 ranked barefooter in the world, and World Barefoot Center elite skier Ben Groen for a clinic on Friday the 21st and Sunday the 23rd of June.  Ben is an outstanding instructor and great person.

The possibility of having Ben Groen to the site depends on the interested parties.  I will need a firm commitment prior to flying him up to the area.  Ben teaches all levels of footers– from those who have never tried to surface turns, to beginners, and much more.  Take this opportunity to advance your skills or clean up the ones you have now.

Please RSVP Chris Mcwatters at barefooter71@me.com for any questions regarding the Figure 8 event and the clinic possibility.  The directions are very easy,  the address is 5901 north 500 east Rolling Prairie, Indiana– it is behind the Sacred Heart Apostolic school, but email me where you are coming from and I will send you the directions. Mark and I look forward to seeing everyone and enjoying each other’s company and having fun doing something we all like to do:

Barefoot.

By: Chris Mcwatters

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