2013 Jim Boyette Southern Regionals makes history

When Jim Boyette arrived at Lake David in Groveland, Florida on Saturday, July 27th, he had a smile on his face and one foot in history. With his start in the tricks event, the 85-year-old namesake of the Southern Regionals became the oldest person to ski the tournament, beating “Banana” George Blair by three months.  And that was just the start of an amazing day on the water.

From old school to new,  Will and Lizzie Rhea traveled all the way from Tennessee to compete in their first barefoot tournament.  Will became the Boys 2 Regional Champion scoring 1500 in tricks, 8.5 in slalom and a 7.9 meter jump. Lizzie won tricks with a 610 and even pulled off some one-foot wake crosses in her second pass of slalom to score a 4.1, capturing the Girls 1 Regional Champion title.

Carol Jackson, the “Womens 5 Record Machine” set a pending  Womens 5 national record in slalom with a 6.4.  In the officials bonus round on Friday, Carol also set a a pending tricks record with a 1480.

Elite skiers also had a great day on the rope. Ben Groen and Ashleigh Stebbeings led a solid international squad from the World Barefoot Center.  Ben set a new New Zealand record in tricks with a score of 10,550 in tricks and Ashleigh astounded the crowd with her smooth jumping style and a jump of 20.5 meters.  Chandler Cargile and Johnathan Martines also landed big 20+ meter jumps. And Brooke Fitch won the Survivor Award for fighting off a huge black snake at one end of the lake and then landing a huge jump at the other.

But when it comes to jumping, the legendary Peter Fleck is leading the class in the old school.  Peter, who is more than double the age of most of the jumpers, managed to land one of the biggest jumps of the day.  His 24.6 meter jump was his first jump since the World Championships last year.
Let’s not forget the people behind the scenes who ski and then work their butts off. They are the champions of arriving first, working hard and leaving late.  Mike Holt, Paul Lower, Dale Stevens, Steven Holt, Ronnie Meeks, Duane Godfrey, Jim Forster and Lauren St. Onge who made this year’s event the best ever!   Thanks!

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