Midwest’s Greatest Trick Skiers and Barefooters Battle Head-to-Head for Top Spots; Guests Devour 500 Ears of Corn and Compete in Corn Cob Eating Contest
TWIN LAKES, Wis. — On August 27, the first annual Aquanut Corn Festival brought together the second annual Mark Black Memorial Trick Ski Showdown and the return of the Aquanut Feet on Fire competition. Hosted by the 2015 and now four-time national show ski champions Aquanut Water Shows, the Twin Lakes, Wis. festival featured more than 20 athletes comprised of past and present Aquanut members as well as skiers from top show ski teams across the Midwest, including Rock Aqua Jays, Mad City and Wonder Lake Waterski Show team.
The day started with a moment of silence for Andy Mapple before heading into the first round of the Aquanut Feet on Fire figure eight barefoot contest, which has run more than five different times in Twin Lakes since 2005. Although the event has evolved over the past decade, certain rules have always stayed the same, such as the no barefoot suit or wetsuit rule and requiring contestants to wear shorts and life jackets. Among the 16 competitors who took to the water were some of the biggest names in endurance barefooting, including Dan Hansen and five-time Foot Stock winner Aaron Schoezel who found themselves in the final two after three rounds of intense competition from Ethan Shulda, former champion Kenny Meyer and Kevin “Hollywood” Fleischmann.
The Mark Black Memorial Trick Ski Showdown featured eight competitors, including Team USA members Dave Rezin, Jayson Rishling and Jordan Shulda, among other top trickers. In the final head-to-head trick ski matchup, two time Mark Black award winner and defending champion Jarad Meyer took the top spot against Danny “Dano the Mano” Amir, who is a three-time Mark Black award winner himself.
“What’s great about this event is that it brings together towed watersports enthusiasts from across the Midwest and—at the same time—introduces the sport to new people,” Aquanut Water Shows President Cindy Amorestated. “The Aquanut ‘Nut Bowl’ was packed to the brim with hundreds of guests enjoying the on water competitions and gobbling up 500 ears of corn.”
Outside the two main events, the big highlight of the day was the 500 ears of corn roasted by the Corn Baron for five hours straight. After the action on the lake subsided, the “Nut Bowl” was transformed into the “Corn Cob Arena” as spectators watched five competitors try to clean as many kernels off as many corn cobs as possible within 100 seconds. Aquanut member Dylan Gronset cleared nearly four cobs completely “kernel-less” and unofficially earned himself the title of the “Corn King.”
The First Annual Aquanut Corn festival wouldn’t have been a success without the help of several sponsors who provided funds and prizes for the athletes as well as merchandise for the silent auction, raffles and giveaways. Sponsors included: Centurion Boats, Rockstar Energy, Connelly Skis, Proline Ropes/Handles, JammyPack, USA Waterski, Waterski magazine, Eagle Sports, Masterline USA, Barefoot International, HO Skis, Radar Skis, O’Brien Watersports, Gage Marine, Woodroze Sustainable Optics, Reynold’s Corn, Fly High MFG, Hydra Fenders, SeaDek, the Golden Mic Podcast, NoiseoftheNorth.com and Shifty Clothing Inc.
Portions of the event’s funds are donated to the Aquanuts and used to bring back the award for Most Outstanding Trick Skier at the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament, formerly known as the Mark Black Award for Most Outstanding Trick Skier.
About Aquanut Water Shows
Established in 1972, Aquanut Water Shows is a non-for-profit organization based in Twin Lakes, Wis. that enables water skiers to spend hours on the water improving skills at building pyramids, swivel skiing and barefooting, among a host of other show skiing acts. Earning the title of 2015 national show ski champions, the water ski team has had many highlights over the years, including multiple state and national championships as well as show skiing’s coveted Triple Crown, as well as several individual skier awards. The organization has also been instrumental in conducting adaptive aquatics programs for children with disabilities and long-term disease, as well as wounded war veterans. Known for their outstanding skiing skill and hysterical family entertainment, the water ski team offers free water ski shows every Wednesday and Saturday evening at 6 p.m. CDT at Lance Park in Twin Lakes during the summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information, visit http://www.aquanutwatershows.com/.