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Wakesurfing event features world champion

Keenan Flegel, the reigning world champion, made the trip from Florida to throw down his tricks.
Keenan Flegel hits the wake during his run on Saturday afternoon at Gold Bay.

The Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge featured some of the best in the world in the sport, and it showed, attracting Keenan Flegel all the way from Florida.

Flegel, who won the KWC in both the skim and surf pro events, is the reigning world champion, making the trip up from Fort Lauderdale a week before the event to help lead organizer and local pro rider Caroline Villeneuve put on a wakesurfing camp.

A week later, it was time to get down to business on the water for the wakesurfing challenge, where he put his considerable skills to the test, where he is judged by his fellow riders.

“This is the most fun event of the year,” said Flegel. “Everything’s laid back, awesome lake and I just love coming out here to have fun.”

The KWC is a qualifying event for the Centrion World Wake Surfing Championship in Arizona at the end of September. It was the same event that Flegel won last year.

“The world championships is far and away the biggest event of the year and there’s always some nerves that come along with that,” said Flegel. “So sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you don’t, but over the last couple years I’ve won and I’ve lost, so it just depends on how you’re feeling that day.”

While Flegel and some of the pros came in from all corners of North America, there was also some local talent in the amateur events, with Isaac Hockley and Gabrielle Brass representing Cranbrook, while Emily Agate, Keya White and Lisa Klassen call Fernie home.

Amateur Women’s Skim

Zoey Shields Virginia (USA)

Gabrielle Brass BC (CAN)

Missy Olivares California (USA)

Amateur Women Surf

Keya White BC (CAN)

Lisa Klassen BC (CAN)

Gabrielle Brass BC (CAN)

Amateur Men Skim

Chad Hudson AB (CAN)

Phil Wilson  BC (CAN)

Isaac Hockley BC (CAN)

Amateur Men Surf

Adam May BC (CAN)

Mike Bogdavovich BC (CAN)

Isaac Hockley BC (CAN)


Belle Boehm BC (CAN)

Wyatt Dudley BC (CAN)


Tedd Witherell Washington (USA)

Tom Soles BC (CAN)

Jon Shields Virginia (USA)

Outlaw Men surf

Ford Chupick Texas (USA)

Grant Witherell Washington (USA)

Shawn Wright Idaho (USA)

Pro Women Skim

Caroline Villeneuve BC (CAN)

Brittney Nyrose AB (CAN)

Tara Fortier Idaho (USA)

Pro Women Surf

Brittney Nyrose AB (CAN)

Caroline Villeneuve BC (CAN)

Emily Agate BC (CAN)

Pro Men Skim

Keenan Flegel  Florida (USA)

Aaron Witherell  Washington (USA)

Sean Cummings  California (USA)

Pro Men Surf

Keenan Flegel Florida (USA)

Chris Wolter California (USA)

Jimmi Sparling Idaho (USA)


Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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