Preparing for the 2013 Barefoot Nationals

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I have been in this sport for many years; my first tournament was in 1987 at the Oakland Estuary in Oakland California. It was also my first experience with William Farrell. He was very helpful and supported of all of the new skiers. He rallied us to get out there and give a 110% and have fun. Very early in the day I started to say, wow this guy sure talks a lot. I found out later that there is no off button for West Coast Willie; he’s the original energizer bunny. No one can ever say that Willie isn’t a social butterfly.

Scott Pellaton wowed us with a 110 Mile per hour pass. That was a sight to see for a rookie barefooter. I was hooked after my first tournament. I started looking for a barefoot boat afterwards. I found a 1984 Barefoot Antique. It had a great flat wake, but some of you newer skiers would not know about the cliff that you come off of; the wake was tall and wider. It was still a great wake but it made it difficult learning back one foot wakes. You thought the falls on our current boats are bad, it was twice the hit taking falls from skiing behind the Barefoot Antique.

We have had a cold winter for northern California. This winter has been all about letting the body heal, working and planning the 2013 Barefoot Nationals which will be held at
Diablo Shores in Brentwood, California.

For this tournament, we are trying to put a lot of emphasis on getting some spectators in the seats as well as putting on a great Nationals for all the skiers. For the last four years, Mike Temby, Tim Pellaton, Rick Fuller and I have put on an air and ski show. On Saturday with the finals, we are planning to add in a mini ski show to add to the event. Some possibilities would be acrobatic jet skiers, a speed barefoot run with the top female or male record holders, Scott Pellaton and Theresa Wallace, an air show by the patriot jet team–the only privately-owned jet team in the world. We might just have some skydivers coming in to show us their stuff (and no, it’s not going to be Small’z!).

The host hotel is the Comfort Suites in Oakley, California. Book your rooms early as you can– the room rate is $99.00 a night. The hotel is about 10 minutes from the site.

We are surrounded by four airports: San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento, all within 75 minutes. I would check all four for flights, because sometimes there’s a big difference in price. Sacramento has the least amount of traffic, almost none. The other three just depend on the time of day. The traffic is heaviest between 2 PM – 8 PM.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)


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