Want to go? Tickets are available for $7 at www.kingofwake.com. Adults can buy them at the event for $13, while kids ages 5-12 get in for $5. The event takes place May 30-June 1 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.
MOORESVILLE – At the end of May, the usually calm waters of Lake Norman will churn when the 2013 MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour comes to Mooresville.
As part of World Sports & Marketing’s King of Wake Tour, the summer competition will also visit Acworth, Ga., Mossdale, Calif., Monroe, Wash., and Grand Rapids, Mich.
Bo Morris, spokesperson for the tour, said the nationally televised event will cruise into a small cove along Perth and Cornelius roads May 30-June 1.
Competitors will include Harley Clifford, Phillip Soven, Rusty Malinoski and Dean Smith. The athletes accumulate points at each stop based on how they place in every contest.
Spectators can drop anchor and watch by boat or bring picnic blanket and chairs and hang out along the shoreline, according to Leah Mitcham, executive director for Mooresville’s Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Morris said the event will feature roughly 100 of the world’s top male wakeboarders in Pro Men and Junior Pro Men categories.
“It’s the most elite series in the world for wakeboarding. It attracts the world’s best in Mooresville during that weekend,” he said.
Spectators can partake in water sport shopping, listen to live music and enjoy a meal while watching the competitors soar through the air.
“We need a flat area on the shore for the vendors to set up and for spectator viewing that will accommodate anywhere from 3,500 to 6,000 people as well as 20 to 30 sponsor tents,” Chris Bischoff, tournament director, said. “The cove on Lake Norman works perfectly. We can have spectators attend by land and water. This is hard to come by.”
Depending on whether gray rain clouds roll across the landscape, the tour will begin at 9 a.m. each day and end around 5 p.m. Morris said a winner in each category will walk away with a trophy and cash prizes. He also promised a “Big Air Kicker Contest,” where a large launch ramp is set up in the middle of the lake for contestants to use for aerial tricks. But none of the points won during that event will count in the larger competition.
Twenty-one-year-old Stephen Pierce, who lived in Cornelius since he was 13, will be one athlete competing in the Pro Man category this summer.
After finishing his sophomore year at University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he moved to Orlando to train full-time.
He explained that moving up from Junior Pro Men to Pro Men status is both a matter of age and competency level. He made the cut when he was 18.
“When you move up to Pro Men, you’re competing with the top athletes in the world,” he said.
Pierce said there will be qualifying, quarter final, semi final and finals rounds and expects to see many athletes showing off their skills with mobes, or professional flips that surpass 180 degrees.
“Flips are growing so much that they’re not enough now, and everyone’s doing two flips,” he said. “But I love it. It’s a really social sport, you go out on the lake and have a good time with all of your friends.”