Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Water Sport Competitions Urged for Clay

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Water Sport Competitions Urged for Clay

Article excerpt

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS -- If Romulous Alderman has his way, Clay

County may one day be the wake-boarding capital of North

Florida.

Alderman, owner of the newly opened Big Dog Sports on Florida

21 in Keystone Heights, made a proposal to the City Council

Tuesday night that calls for holding at least eight

wake-boarding tournaments a year at Keystone Beach on Lake

Geneva, with the first one set for Oct. 24. His plans call for

Clay County to become home of the North Florida Wakeboard

Series.

Vice Mayor Tony Brown greeted the proposal with enthusiasm and

proposed to use a portion of Keystone Beach outside the swimming

area. Brown said he also would like to look into allowing canoes

and kayaks to launch at that site.

"When I was young we used to do all kinds of things on the

lake. Now Lake Geneva is dead. This would bring some life back

to Lake Geneva. I think it's a good idea," Brown said.

Alderman said boats would be launched from a private site on

Lake Geneva and the beach would be used as the starting and

stopping point for wakeboarders. The beach, Alderman said, would

provide a spot for spectators to view the sport, which is

quickly becoming a popular alternative to waterskiing among

water sport enthusiasts.

Using wake-boards, which look somewhat like a snowboard, riders

put on "boots" attached to the wakeboard. Being pulled behind a

ski boat, wake-boarders jump the wake, do turns in the air and

try to dazzle spectators with their performances. The sport has

become extremely competitive with tournaments held around the

country and some competitors even vying for world championships,

Alderman said.

"It will be a lot of fun," Alderman told the council, adding he

is covered by a $5 million liability insurance policy and is

eager to get the venture started. …

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