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Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       08-01-2011, 5:49 PM Reply   
Well I spent a lot of time at Nationals this week. Although do to some issues beyond my control I was not riding, I really did enjoy the event. I have been watching Pro wake events and water-ski events in MN since I was 10 years old, to put that in perspective 22 years. Since the days of the 3-event weekends. I have to say that this venue was by far the best for the spectator, great viewing everywhere. You could watch a full pull in clear view. By comparison to some venues in MN it was perfect. In fact you could walk up to the Broadway Bridge and see the whole run from a really sick vue. The first trick was being thrown right after the rider went under the Bridge; it was almost a helicopterish vue.

That said, what was not so perfect was the water conditions. I know everyone was complaining about it I talked to a ton of people who road and they all had the same thoughts, horrible water. The current was flowing fast due to the crazy winter and the insane amount of rain we have had in MN this summer. Typically river is no where near this intense. I have seen other contests all over that have had issues with boat traffic or a weekend event that is simply blown out. Any one how rides or has ridden on a river knows they can really be miles of glass or blown out. I hope that the fact that the current was so strong does not spoke the power that be to not have any more contests in MN. I have been in contest on the river and this year was an oddity due to the weather. But if you watched the contest you know that Harley had no issues with the current, he crushed in finals! One of the hardest runs I have seen all year.

So over all it was a great event, it was super fun.

Anyway I just thought I would post my thoughts on the contest, I would love to hear from others there and people that rode. I would love to see the nationals or a Pro Tour stop back in MN next year.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-01-2011, 6:12 PM Reply   
Andy,

I agree & disagree....

I agree that the site was great for spectators to view a rider's full pass. The parking situation, however, was not good & the local businesses were having people's cars towed. There didn't appear to be any kind of plan to address that situation.

I disagree that the current was the big problem. If you fall after your 2nd trick, you were somewhat hosed to get anything in before the end of the course on pass #1. However, if your 1st fall is on the 2nd pass, you get lots of course back. That's cool, just takes a rider being smarter about what they do on their 1st pass.

The problem was the constant rollers and delays in riding. pros get paid (or at least help with their expenses) to ride in any kind of water conditions. But, there were little kids that couldn't even cut outside the wake without falling over due to the huge rollers. Maybe this didn't happen during the weekend, but for the amateurs on Wed/Thur, they let large barges and a tourist paddle boat through the course many times. It would take a couple of hours for the rollers to settle down. A family spends lots of money to get there and has a young kid all stoked about going to the contest and ends up trying to hit rollers up to their knees. That is not well spent money. Our group had a 40 minute delay between the 1st and 2nd rider due to the paddle wheel boat just cruising around. It's like the city had no idea there was a National Championship event going on to minimize this type of situation.

I've always loved going to the events and participating, but I would never go back there to do anything other than watch. Downtown was lots of fun, the venue enabled you to see most of the course & it's always fun to just hang out.
Old    Randy Scagliotti (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-01-2011, 6:15 PM Reply   
Andy I wasen't at nationals this year but watched it on live strem (when it worked ) and have talked to some riders that were, the current was one thing but the other thing I heard was the rollers were pretty bad. I liked the lake you used for the tour stop a few years ago, water conditions were pretty good but the viewing for the fans was not so good, I really enjoyed the the Twin Cities Pro tour stops and the passion for the sport the fans have and would love to see more events there. You live in the land of a thousend lakes, there got to be one that could work for both the riders and spectators. Stoked for Colin, tell him I said what up.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-01-2011, 8:31 PM Reply   
In my opinion, a Pro Tour Stop should take into consideration the spectators. The Amateur National Championships should only take one thing into consideration, and that is optimizing the riding conditions and rider consideration as priority number one, two, three, etc. As Kat said, families pay good money and PTO hours to attend this, for themselves. Putting on a show for the city and whatever else this hoped to accomplish should be the intent of a Pro Stop. This idea of needing to be inside a city is starting to seem kind of silly. Worlds will have calm water, so riders who qualified can throw their 3 trick passes on what should be nice water
Old    Jeffrey Blanchard (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       08-01-2011, 11:02 PM Reply   
The only problem I have with the idea that water conditions should trump everything... is that spectators and crowds bring out more competitors and allow family members to watch and share in the enthusiasm of the sport.

The exposure of larger numbers of people to our national events creates more interest and awareness in the community about the sport and we should see more people riding and hopefully competing as a result.

Venue selection can be challenging. Trying to find a spot that allows for optimal riding conditions and still shares in spectator access isn't always easy. Then there's the always tempermental mother nature to contend with. Our 2010 Canadian Nationals had most things going for it and then the weather kicked our butts...

We try to find the happy mediums!
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       08-02-2011, 8:06 AM Reply   
Everyone has some great points here. Especially Kat and the issue with the non-pros and parents spending good money to get the family there to watch and then the kids can’t even ride. I agree on Parking, it was horrible. I was actually shocked that no one had negotiated a deal with the local business owners for parking in the lots at least over the weekend. I did think that the strategy that the riders had to be used was fairly cool, I heard time and time again from riders that your do your guaranteed tricks on the way down and then high risk moves on the way up do to the fact that the current would allow you to gain a ton of riding area back. I know the Mississippi is like a highway here for tourists and barge action. I can imagine the uproar from business owners if they were told they could not ship thier barges for 5 days because of a Wakeboard contest. The problem with something that big is not the wake its’ tossing it’s the water it’s displacing, much like wakesurfing, it’s the giant rollers that follow it down the river or lake. On the river these roller could and do go for miles.

After reading the responses, I must say that there could have been a better venue for riding, there are some great private lakes around the Twin Cities the only issue is they are like 45-50 minutes out of town. At the end of the day we want the riders to have perfect riding conditions so that they can put on the best show. At the same time the spectators want to be able to see everything, and the riders want something to do at night. It's tough for sure, I really hope that it doesn’t spook the event organizers from boycotting MN in the future. After all this it is the land of 10,000 lakes! I would really like to know how the promoters and organizers go about picking a location? Some insight would be great!
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-02-2011, 8:21 AM Reply   
As explained many times but overlooked - the water conditions and current was a fluke.. The current is huge right now because of the excess rain in MN and up north in Canada that is coming down..

Normally - the current is something like 35-40% lighter than it is right now. The current made the HUGE impact on the riding the wake. A few random barges only slow a process..

It's too bad about the current - both mother nature is in control of that. Couldn't have predicted that when deciding a location. Real bummer for the kids. I was there 4 of the 5 days and saw the kids and am's ride and I saw a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.. Hopefully there was more positive than negative..
Old    Soli (nsolis220)      Join Date: May 2007       08-02-2011, 9:17 AM Reply   
It seems like the folks from MN are jaded because it was a chance to see the tour up close in thier back yard. With that said the water looked horrible and with river traffic from tourists and barges its enough to cause major issues and frustrations with 90% of the competitors who were not pro's. Ya the current was a fluke but the river traffic was not.

The best way to keep the event close to MN in the future isnt to be in denial but to help find a promte a better site. Just my 2 cents
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-02-2011, 9:39 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsolis220 View Post
It seems like the folks from MN are jaded because it was a chance to see the tour up close in thier back yard. With that said the water looked horrible and with river traffic from tourists and barges its enough to cause major issues and frustrations with 90% of the competitors who were not pro's. Ya the current was a fluke but the river traffic was not.

The best way to keep the event close to MN in the future isnt to be in denial but to help find a promte a better site. Just my 2 cents
This isn't our first tour stop.. The river was bad becuse of Mother Nature.

I was there 4 of the 5 days and only ONCE did I see a boat come by that caused any distraction..

I'm not jaded at all. It just couldn't be helped with the current/water.. You can't control the wind and you can't control the current.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       08-02-2011, 10:04 AM Reply   
I agree with Jeff, I am in no way jaded. The Pro Tour stops have been here many times, so many in fact I cannot even keep count. Definetly no denial here either, in fact its the opposite for me. I did see some Barge action and some tourist boats, I cannot imagine the WWA getting a no wake zone in effect on the river for an event as they do for a typical lake even. I know in the past on Island Lake and Keller Lake in MN, there has always been a no wake zone in affect. In fact it was my job one year to police the lake and keep people from driving with a wake. As Jeff and other have said no matter what Mother Nature will do her thing.
Old    Soli (nsolis220)      Join Date: May 2007       08-02-2011, 10:09 AM Reply   
correct so why not champion it to be on a lake where you can have some sort of controls? That takes 2 things out of the equation? When the first thing that comes out of riders mouths in thier interviews how bad the water was... and these folks are used to riding in crap water then you know it was BAD
Old    Bryce (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       08-02-2011, 10:40 AM Reply   
Just a FYI, Minnesota does have a very cool event (MN spring ride) in more of a grass roots type location. If any pros want some good "Minnesota Nice" hospitality... I am sure Jay can get you signed up for next years event!!
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-02-2011, 11:00 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsolis220 View Post
correct so why not champion it to be on a lake where you can have some sort of controls? That takes 2 things out of the equation? When the first thing that comes out of riders mouths in thier interviews how bad the water was... and these folks are used to riding in crap water then you know it was BAD
the water sucked, no question. I wouldn't have rode it in a NON competition setting. What we're saying is that it couldn't be helped.

It was 11ty thousand degrees, humid and windy.. If it was on a lake - unless it was a deep set, protected lake, it would be have been "blown out" as well..

We don't have hills or mountains here. When it's windy - the water sucks. Just how it is.
Old    MK (csswake3)      Join Date: Mar 2007       08-02-2011, 11:45 AM Reply   
It's my understanding that a lot of work goes into planning these events, I was there sunday and thought it was great. Best thing about it in my opinion was that it was free, its my understanding that the City of Minneapolis said that the only way it could be there was that it had to be a free event. I have no idea if nationals is always free? No question the water conditions were far from ideal, I do think it is a better location for fans than Island lake was for the PWT stops, but I didn't have to ride on that water and can see why it would suck.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-02-2011, 1:04 PM Reply   
I guess the point would be, of course the current/wind was out of anyone's control, so don't give it a chance to be a factor.

When was the last summer/spring that the Mississippi didn't flood?
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-02-2011, 1:11 PM Reply   
I will say that is was definitely fun being downtown & the site did attract some "accidental tourists" using the park area. I just don't think it would have mattered if mother nature didn't have an impact with the current, as the rollers from the tow boat were pretty significant at times. (Even when the barge/paddle wheel boat weren't cruising through.) Nonetheless, it was a good time, but I was sure hoping to get to see at least one of the beautiful lakes that I hear so much about in Minnesota!

Andy - I will let you know what goes into planning such an event, as I have volunteered to help lobby for the event to be held on Lady Bird Lake (non-motorized lake) in Austin, TX. This too would be a fun location, as the hotels downtown overlook the lake. You could literally walk down to the venue from your hotel room. It's kind of a long shot to make happen, but I will have some help from better connected people than myself!
Old    John Marshall (JohnM)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-02-2011, 5:35 PM Reply   
Lady Bird Lake would be an awesome Venue! Unfortunately the environmentalists will bind themselves into a human using all the red tape they can find.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-02-2011, 6:43 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnM View Post
Lady Bird Lake would be an awesome Venue! Unfortunately the environmentalists will bind themselves into a human using all the red tape they can find.
LOL, yes...you are right. I will definitely have to work on the presentation being just right for the expected naysayers.

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