ROCK HILL — The USA Wakeboard Nationals won’t be coming to Lake Wylie this month, but may come next year.
Originally scheduled for this weekend, Sept. 27-29, the championships were to offer a $15,000 purse and bring thousands to Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill. Organizers say the cancellation was due to a busy tournament calendar and limited time to promote the event.
“The folks in Florida had to cancel the event,” said Auvis Cole, sports sales manager with the Rock Hill/York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Lack of registration was the main thing.”
USA Waterski, located in Polk City, Fla., is the organization that was hosting the 15th annual championship event. The group’s event calendar shows a kneeboard national championship event the same weekend in Orlando, Fla.
The bigger challenge was this year’s World Wakeboard Championships in Busan, Korea. That event ran Aug. 28-Sept. 1. The wakeboard national team – which included former Tega Cay wakeboarder Austin Hair – won a silver medal and four individual medals. Athletes from 28 countries participated.
The focus on that event, Cole said, made promoting the Rock Hill event difficult. But he’s confident the move will be a postponement rather than a full cancellation.
“We’re looking at 2014,” Cole said.
Scott Atkinson, editor and publisher of The Water Skier and communications director for USA Waterski, said low preregistration meant his group couldn’t guarantee the type of event organizers expect.
“Out of respect for the sponsors and the [visitors bureau], we felt we needed to cancel the event at this time knowing it would not meet the expectations of all parties,” he said.
The event won’t be replaced on the calendar this year.
“At this time there is no plan to hold the 2013 USA Wakeboard Nationals at a different site or date,” Atkinson said. “We sincerely hope there is an opportunity in the future to partner with the [visitors bureau], and hold an event on Lake Wylie.”
Cole say May through September next year is the target for bringing an event to Lake Wylie. But again it will have to compete with a busy slate. Among the 16 national and worldwide events already set for USA Waterski are the Water Ski & Wakeboard World Cup in Mandurah, Australia, and the Cable Wakeboard World Championships in Sauherad, Norway.