21 Jul Wakefest 2019 | Winners Interviews | Guenther Oka & Meagan Ethell
The 2019 Wakefest was hosting last week-end in Tenessee ! The half wakeboarding event half lake party has grown in size every year since its start in 2005. The best boat wakeboarders in the world were there, including Meagan Ethell, Parks Bonifay, Brian Grubb, Guenther Oka or Cory Teunissen. These world class athletes shared a houseboat, competed and interacted with fans all weekend long, even teaching some novices how to wakeboard behind their own personal boats between competitions. Guenther Oka took the win for the 50 000$ and Meagan Ethell won the Pro Women… here are their words !
How do you feel after winning Wakefest’s 50k Shotoout?
It’s unreal. With this being my first professional boat win, it feels so crazy to have done it in this fashion. Winning the biggest prize purse on boat this year means so much and gives me tons of fuel to keep on pushing.
What made your run better than the others ?
I’m not sure considering I didn’t get to see half of the other boys ride haha. But I stood up all 4 tricks I had in mind and put down the grabs I was looking for as well.
What do you think of the public here at Wakefest ? Are you coming back next year ?
Without a doubt. This was the equivalent to the super bowl of boat wakeboarding. Literally riding through the arena of boats and people made the contest so exciting. Everyone, including the fans, put their heart and soul into coming out and cheering us on.
What is the next stop for you and what are your goals for the next of the 2019 season ?
I’m off to Washington for boat nationals and then right off to Portugal for the Tomar Pro. The year is far from over but I’m happy to keep the party going and end it on a high note.
Have you got a video project ? With other riders ?
Always working on something! I don’t want to give anything away but it’ll be going back to what I do best and working with my homie Taylor Hanley.
Can you talk a bit about “Passing the Handle?”
For sure. Pass the Handle is an amazing day for the entire wakeboard community. It encourages pros and amateurs alike to go out and spread the sport of wakeboarding. We dedicate that day to go and get a first timer up on board and show them the love we all have seen for wake. It is a global movement that keeps the sport fresh and spreads it far and wide.
Anything else to add?
I want to give a massive shoutout to the crew at TNT watersports in Tennessee for hosting this insane event. They pull it together every year and it something that will keep this sport going for years to come. Also Red Bull, O’Neill, and Liquid Force Wake for their continued support.
How do you feel after winning Wakefest?
– Overall, my Wake Fest weekend was one to remember. Winning the contest was a nice bonus on top of the good times I had with everyone there. Also, being able to showcase our sport in front of such a large audience was one to remember.
What made your run better than the others?
– The conditions at Wakefest were challenging, and all the girls threw down despite those factors. I think what put me in advantage was being able to stay strong through it all. I was able to lace up some technical and stylish tricks, and I think that helped put the top spot in my favor.
What do you think of the public here at Wake Fest? Are you coming back next year?
The number of people that were at this event was mind-blowing. Depending on my schedule for next were, I would definitely like to come back. Hopefully, we can push for a better prize purse so more females want to attend the event. Also, it would be insane to create a female Shoot Out to give the pro women that sort of opportunity.
What is the next stop for you and what are your goals for the next of the 2019 season?
On Thursday, I leave to Seattle for Nationals. It’s a pretty busy season at the moment with constantly being on the move. For the rest of the season, I’m wanting to focus on my riding and pushing myself to do harder/different tricks.
Have you got a video project? With other riders?
I have not started creating a video project because I’ve been focused on my riding and progressing it, but that is something that I want to do in the near future. I’m hoping to do a Red Bull project soon and with that, I would release a video.
Can you talk a bit about “Passing the Handle?”
– Our Pass the Handle Day in TN was great. We got a few people out on the water and gave them a really great experience. It is always pretty rewarding to pass the handle to someone new and expose them to our amazing sport.
Wakefest 2019 Shootout Winner
Guenther Oka – 50,000$
Pro Men Winners
1st Cory Teunissen – 7,500$
2nd Nic Rapa – 4,000$
3rd Mike Dowdy – 2,000$
Pro Women Winners
1st Meagan Ethell – 3,000$
2nd Tarah Mikacich – 2,500$
3rd Charli Shore – 2,000$
1st Parker Swope
2nd Ben Brown
3rd Nic Brown
1st Barrett Swope
3rd Tanner Ledford
1st Frank Adkins
2nd Condrey Hunt
3rd Spencer Sullivan
1st Wolfe Jordan
2nd Brantley Mullins
3rd Natalie Miller
1st River Mayo
2nd Gabe James
3rd Clayton Moriarity
1st Colt Reid
2nd Carter James
3rd Cole Moriarty