Team MasterCraft Wins 2007 Dam 2 Dam!
November 06, 2007
The 20th Annual Dam 2 Dam Barefoot Ski Race was held this past weekend in Austin Texas. Considered to be the “Grand Daddy” of Barefoot Racing, this exciting event had over 100 barefoot water ski athletes – comprising of 20 teams – all competing in thrilling barefoot racing to determine who was the top team in the world.
Team MasterCraft, comprised of athletes Doug Winters, Chad Mietz and the legend Paul Stokes, won the Open Finals barefoot race. Against all odds, this marvelous team rose to the top of the 9 boat open class by taking first place in their qualifying heat on Saturday. Riding behind a stock-yellow, 2008 MasterCraft X7 and with no falls during the entire finals race on Sunday, Team MasterCraft dominated the class in beating the second place Team Canada by a whopping 1 minute 54 seconds. They beat teams loaded with top footers like Paul McDonald from Malibu and the veteran “JIMMY” from Sanger boats.
Team MC practiced behind the tournament team boat of Bob Mahnke from Madison WI. Leading up to this event, they were supported at the factory level by Matt McDevitt (MasterCraft) and at the dealership level by Steve Present (Texas Ski Ranch). The odds were against this team on all sides of the water. They had a stock boat, no designated driver, no pick up boom and a team that had never been on the water together…yet, still managed to win the race!
Team captain Doug Winters said, “We are proud to be a part of the MasterCraft Family and we believe this is a victory for all MasterCraft Owners”. The win on Sunday was Paul Stokes 6th Dam 2 Dam victory. Paul Stokes started the 20 mile race on both days and out skied the crowd to put his team in the lead. The first four miles of the race were wind chopped all the way to the 360 bridge. Stokes took control of the race behind the powerful X-7 that provided protection and beat down the rough conditions. When the “Stoker” pulled himself into the boat, Chad Mietz (Dam 2 Dam rookie) further supported the team with an outstanding run through the boat rollers of Lake Austin’s die hard wake boarders. The anchor man Doug Winters then took the reins as the conditions became like clear glass. “It was a dream ride”, Winters said. He was still footing when the X-7 passed the 17 mile mark where the Texas Ski Ranch family was cheering the team on to victory.
When the Dam 2 Dam organizers asked at registration, “What is your team name?” They laughed at us when we said TEAM MASTERCRAFT. Now the barefootaustin.org headline news article reads “Team MasterCraft Wins The Open Division”. We all had the last laugh-
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