Posts Tagged ‘greg wilkinson memorial’

The 2014 Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 Barefoot Tournament

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

The last two articles I wrote were about the person that taught me how to barefoot or the person that got into competing.  This article is about promoting an annual Figure 8 barefoot tournament.   This event was first called the Silver Sheep figure 8 barefoot tournament when Thor Thordarson was the organizer, but due to his busy personal schedule, he turned the organization duties over to Mark Donahue and me.  Mark and I originally called this tournament the Footapalooza Figure 8 barefoot tournament.  The tournament  is always held on the 1st weekend after Fathers Day.

A couple of years ago, the barefoot community lost a great person when Greg Wilkinson lost his battle to cancer.  Greg was a  great advocate for the sport of barefooting. He always had a smile on his face and was always very supportive.  With the permission of Greg’s wife, Penny, Mark and I changed the tournament name to the Greg Wilkinson Memorial.  We take a  portion of the entry money and any donations– and give them to Penny for a charity of her choice in Greg’s honor.

The Greg Wilkinson Figure 8 tournament has a few different rules and regulations than maybe some of the other Figure 8 events out there.  First and foremost, we want everybody to have the opportunity to compete and barefoot.  Therefore, we really don’t care how you get to your feet during the start.  If you can’t deep water start and you need to drop a ski then bring a ski; if you can’t drop a ski and you can only deepwater start, then leave your skies at home.  Deepwater starts and drop ski footers can go side-by-side without any problem.  Our goal and motto has always been and will continue to be “No footer left on the beach.”

This is a double elimination event.  For next year, we are fortunate to have a couple monetary contributors.  Contributors have given this event 1,000 dollars each. Yup, that’s 2,000 dollars plus the entry fees.  Now, instead of having these Figure 8 junkies coming and fighting over the lump sum, Mark and I decided to make two divisions.  Those two divisions have been uniquely called Pros and Open.  If any footer has won or placed in the top 3 in the last 3 years in any Figure 8, you are considered in our book a “pro.”  If you haven’t done that, we are considering you an Open footer.  We are here to attract footers and not scare them off.  We want to give the open footer the opportunity to win money as well.  The monies will be divided between the two divisions.  Also we do pay down to the fourth and maybe the fifth spot in the open division.  The Pro division will only be paid down to the top three.

So, that being said on June 21st 2014, the Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 barefoot tournament will be held in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, behind the Sacred Heart Apostolic school located at 5901 N 500 E  Rolling Prairie, In.  The entry fee is $55.00, and if you register between now and May 1st, a tournament shirt will be included with the registration fee. Otherwise you will have to purchase shirts at the tournament.

This event is located approximately 20 miles from South Bend, Indiana.  If you’re flying, Chicago is the closest major airport, but there are small airports around the area that some airlines will fly into. This site is very nicely situated behind the school surround by trees and lily pads.  There is a great viewing area for spectators on a grassy knoll overlooking the lake.  The lake is just big enough for a Figure 8 tournament–it is real nice and decreases the chances for a blow out.

Between the lake and the school, there is a large area for camping–sorry, no hook ups, but we do have porta restrooms on site.  For you non-camping types there are hotels within 10-15 minutes of the site.  We will be cooking on site and we seek donations for the food and the cook.  Saturday night after the tournament is over we have a large bonfire with music and beverages.  Sunday morning we all like to get up and get a quick ski in before we pack upon a leave.

There is an opportunity for barefoot lessons on Thursday and Friday if there is enough interest.  The World barefoot Center with Keith St. Onge, David Small, or Ben Groen would be interested to put on a clinic.  Please contact either me or the World Barefoot Center if you are interested.  The sooner the better of course, the WBC schedule fills up rather quickly.   Mark and I will be advertising this event on social media, word of mouth and hopefully a ski magazine or two, so please help spread the word and come out and enjoy a great time, meet new people, or shoot the poop with old friends–and honor a great person and friend.

Thank you and foot safe,

Chris Mcwatters