Event to leave all in its wake

Professional wakeboarders will perform at the Emerald Aquatic Centre.
Professional wakeboarders will perform at the Emerald Aquatic Centre.

SUNFLOWER Festival 2011 entrant Hayley Henson is taking the humble pool party to a whole new level.

Hayley has organised Wake’n for the Kids, an event where professional wakeboarders will put their skills on display at the local pool.

“A winch will tow the wakeboarders from one end of the pool to the other with a 10 metre obstacle in between,” Hayley said.

“The riders will express themselves through creativity, style and technical (moves) on the slider and will be judged accordingly.”

Confirmed riders for the event include Hayley Smith, current Australian Pro Tour champion and ranked fifth on the world’s elite pro wakeboarding circuit, John Henson, James Windsor, Sam Burne, Mayce Dipple, Mathew Payne and Jason Cook.

Gates open at 6pm with heats starting from 7pm at Emerald Aquatic Centre.

Aside from the wakeboard demonstration, there will be auctions, raffles, stalls, competitions and prizes, plus lots of giveaways.

A Calcutta auction of the riders will take place before the competition begins and the highest bidder on the winning rider will receive a percentage of the total fundraising pool.

The event is being held to raise funds for the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme, better known as Bush Kids, whose Emerald branch lost everything in the January floods.

“All proceeds from Wake’n for the Kids will go towards re-establishing Bush Kids in their facility,” Hayley said.

“Bush Kids help give children the start in life they deserve, to decide who they want to become and what they want to achieve.

“They offer free health support to develop any social, emotional and behavioural problems a child may suffer.

“Wakeboarding is really big in Emerald, everyone is getting into it, but it’s something that they’ve never had a chance to view up close at a professional level.”

Cost $5 adults, $10 family (two adults, two kids), under-12s to be accompanied.

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