Two-day event takes over Crooked River arm

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Blain Florence wipes out trying to make a turn during the Sundance Watersports Ski and Wakeboard Tournament on Sunday at Lake Billy Chinook outside Culver.The Crooked River arm of Lake Billy Chinook came alive with high fliers and smooth skiers during the Sundance Watersports Club ski and wakeboard tournament, held Saturday and Sunday.

The yearly tournament is a culmination of sorts for club members, who hit the water every Wednesday during the summer to perfect their technique, and to just have a good time.

Taking top spots in the wakeboarding tournament, held Saturday, were Jordan Kennedy, Kaley McNay and Brode Mead. Kennedy won the 12-and-under age group, McNay took the novice division and Mead won the intermediate division.

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Russ Brewer tries to stay in control during the open division competition.In the slalom skiing competition, held Sunday, Culver High School student Emma Hoke tied for the win with Rime Givot in the super novice division, and Hoke also placed second in the combined novice “D” and “C” class. Suzy Brewer won that division.

The novice “B” crown went to Keith Liederman, and Gabe Chladek won the novice “A” group.

In the open divisions, Blain Florence took home top honors in the first division with a perfect six buoys cleared at 32 feet off, meaning the rope was 32 feet shorter than the 75- foot maximum length.

Russ Brewer finished second and Scott Manos finished third.

In the second open division, Brewer cleared two buoys at 35 off to win, and Florence finished second.

The Sundance Watersports Club began in 1981 as the Sundance Tournament Ski Club, and had originally planned to put the slalom course up at Haystack Reservoir. by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Dan Blume rips around a buoy.However, it was too low to support a course, so they put it in Lake Billy Chinook.

But later, club members moved it out to Haystack Reservoir, but as the area grew in popularity, the “weekend crowd” was too much of a hindrance to conduct tournaments. Forced to find a different spot, the club settled into the Crooked River arm of Lake Billy Chinook again, in between the Crooked River Bridge and day-use area and campground, and that has been where the course has stayed.

The tournaments started at both Haystack Reservoir and Crescent Lake, and club members used to take the course out of Haystack and take it to Crescent Lake, and then bring it back when they were done.

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Scott Manos, of Portland, gets airborne during the slalom water skiing competition at the Sundance Watersports ski and wakeboard tournament Sunday on the Crooked River arm of Lake Billy Chinook.

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