The extreme wind may have forced the competition to end early, but spectators were blown away by the wakeboarding spectacle long before the wind picked up.
Red Bull Wake Lab may indeed be the largest and most innovative wakeboarding event ever, but today at Tempe Town Lake, it also felt like the windiest. The first day of competition, which included pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds, saw the first three heats getting progressively stronger as the day went on, but unfortunately the wind followed suit. Before the 50 mph gusts finally caused the remaining qualifying heats to be postponed, spectators were treated to an amazing display of skill on the one-of-a-kind Wake Lab. The pre-qualifying event saw two local boys eliminated, as Phoenix locals Benjamin Christensen and Larry Taylor failed to advance. Once pre-qualifying was over, only Kyle Alberts and Kaesen Suyderhoud (heat 1) and Robby Carter and Kyle Rattray (heat 2) moved to the next round, the quarterfinals. Only one round of quarterfinals took place before the wind became unbearable, with Mike Ennen and Gabe Lucas taking the top two spots. Quarterfinals continued Saturday, April 4, at 8am, with semifinals and finals continuing directly afterwards.
While one mighty wind was shutting down Red Bull Wake Lab for the day, the Arizona Diamondbacks were experiencing another mighty wind coming off Parks Bonifay’s fastball as he threw ceremonial first pitch at Friday night’s game.
2009 Red Bull Wake Lab – Tempe Arizona – DAY 1 RESULTS
Heat 1 – 11:00 – Top 2 Transfer
1. Kyle Alberts 90
2. Kaesen Suyderhoud 86.6
3. Benjamin Christensen 83.3
4. Justin Fisher 70
Heat 2 – 11:30 – Top 2 Transfer
1. Robbie Carter 93.3
2. Kyle Rattray 85
3. Tyler Killingsworth 80
4. Larry Taylor 76.6
Qualifiers – Quarter Finals
Heat 1 – 12:00 – Top 2 Transfer
1. Mike Ennen 90
2. Gabe Lucas 86.6
3. Kaesen Suyderhoud 83.3
4. Pat Panakos 70