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Enthusiasts prepare to hit the waters

Organizers promise spins, flips, family fun at WakeFest

July 22, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

TWIN?LAKES?-It's not just a great way to celebrate the lake or have some fun in the water, but it's also one of the biggest wakeboarding events around, according to volunteer Bill Stephenson.

The sixth annual WakeFest will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Treman Park, on the north end of Twin Lakes, sponsored by the Twin Lakes Water Sports Association.

Stephenson said there are not a lot of these events.

"We are by far the biggest one in the state," he said. "We get between 60 and 80 riders from throughout the state of Iowa, some from as far as Omaha.

"We'll have by far the best riders in the state. They all come together, and the things they can do are absolutely amazing. They fly 50 feet through the air; they do spins, they do flips."

The riders are split into seven categories based on age and ability, from the youngest "Groms" who will start the day, to the final "Outlaw" category where anything is allowed.

Fact Box

If you go:

What:?Twin Lakes WakeFest 2012 annual wakeboarding competition

When: 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Treman Park, Twin Lakes

Who: Twin Lakes Water Sports Association

Cost: Free admission and activities.

For more information:

"They're from 9 or 10 years old to 50 years old, the very, very beginners to the most advanced," he said.

There will be numerous events to make it a fun family day, Stephenson said.

"We'll have a handstand contest, cartwheel, chicken fights. All kinds of fun activities all through the day that are crowd-oriented. There's a deejay to play music all day. We'll have the Iowa National Guard bringing a rock climbing wall, and the Bouncy Thing will be there. We're trying to really turn it into a lake celebration day."

There is no charge for the event or any of the activities. The event is made possible by donations from around 50 families and businesses

"It's all volunteer-run," Stephenson said. "Event staff, judges, drivers, and seven families donate use of their boats."

"People sit out in boats and take pictures. Last year for the Groms, the 12 and under division, the kids rode and they took action shots of kids while they rode. They ran over to someone's home on the lake and printed off a picture of each kid and put it on a plaque."

There will be a swap meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Twin Lakes Bible Camp will also be selling food, although Stephenson said attendees were welcome to bring their own food as well.

Registration is $20 in advance for TLWSA members, $25 for nonmembers, or $35 at the event.

"One hundred percent of the registration fees go back to the riders in the form of prizes," he said. "It is a competition, but it's more about celebrating the sport, and getting the kids together."



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