Fall events coming in waves at Lake Wylie

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comSeptember 3, 2013 

— Labor Day has passed, but anyone expecting a slowdown on Lake Wyliemay need to take a closer look.

Several large events are planned at the lake during the next two months. Last week, USA Water Ski announced two major sponsors, Hall Marine Group and Race City Marine, for the Sept. 27-29 USA Wakeboard Nationals at Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill. Organizers expect 1,000 to 1,500 spectators.

“It’ll be fun for spectators, even people who’ve never wakeboarded,” said Mark Murff with Hall Marine, a company whose oldest location and corporate office is Lake Wylie Marina. “It’s really amazing what these guys are doing behind a boat.”

The 15th annual national championship features a $15,000 purse for top pro men and women, featuring 11 divisions. Rock Hill/York County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Carolina Show Ski Team are helping with the event.

Auvis Cole, sports sales manager with visitors bureau, said his group uses Lake Wylie as a hook to land large events like the nationals.

“Lake Wylie is such a great natural resource for the entire county,” he said. “Why not take advantage of such a great resource?”

Cole’s group also is a sponsor for an Oct. 20 event bringing triathletes to Ebenezer. Lake Wylie Tri Fest, presented by visityorkcounty.com, features short and long courses covering a swim, bike ride and run. Swimming takes place in the lake, up to 1,500 meters for the long course. The event is part of the Y Tri Series and is the ninth in a series of 10 races this year. It’s the third this year in Rock Hill, but a first using the lake. A Fort Mill event drew more than 70 athletes.

Along with athletic events, fall is the time for two major gatherings each year on the lake. Riversweep, organized by the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and Lake Wylie Marine Commission, is a community clean-up where volunteers comb shorelines and haul in thousands of tons of trash and debris. This year’s event will be held Oct. 5.

A week earlier is the 11th annual concert benefit for Lake Wylie Children’s Charity.

The group sponsors an area child facing cancer each year and throws a fall bash to raise money to help the family pay for medical expenses and more. Last year’s event was so successful, the recipients were able to purchase a house. This year’s concert will be held Sept. 29 near Buster Boyd Access Area.

Cole said this group is talking about hosting another large event in the spring.

“It’s some exciting times, some really cool events coming up,” he said.

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