The 2012 Lottawatta Top Cat Challenge brought with it a lot of new faces to the tournament scene this weekend. Ryan Houser, Marina Philips, Casey Warren, and Stephanie Warren all skied in their first tournament and 10 of the skiers were novice skiers with averages less than 6 buoys. Many of them set PB's including 5 year old Jack Kuenning who went from running one buoy at BBT Stop #2 to running a full pass at 13.5 mph for the first time ever at the Top Cat!
Skiers were seeded and divided into 3 groups of 12 of which the Top 5 skiers from each group would qualify for the finals. The finals made for some stiff competition. Josie Kuenning of Extreme Watersports Center set the bar high early on running 100% of her average followed shortly thereafter by Stephanie Warren of Lake Bellalago who also ran 100% of her average. Gil Ruehl of Skiers Runway took over the lead skiing 3.5 buoys over his average and scoring 104.58%. Jon Barhorst of Sunsite Lakes was the last skier off the dock and needed to get 2.25 buoys @ 35 off to take the win. Jon skied right over the top of 3 ball @ 35 off and received only 2 buoys from the judges leaving him with 104.55% of his average for second place, just a quarter buoy shy of the win. All 15 finalists received USA Water Ski goodie bags & towels, sunscreen, and key chains from Honu. The top 3 winners each received a Broodle from Broodle Brands, a Baller hat from BallofSpray.com, a BBT plaque, with the top 2 receiving boat care packages from Cincinnati MasterCraft and first place received the signature gold Fin Firkin. A big thanks goes out to all of our sponsors, Lake Lottawatta, and all the officials who worked hard to put on this great event.