Herb’s Cup is like no other slalom event in the world, and for good
reason. This tournament is our representation of the creativity and
innovative spirit of Herb O’Brien, the founder of Radar Skis and the
godfather of modern-day waterskiing. With an emphasis on family, and
fun we flipped the traditional rules of competitive waterskiing on its
head and invited a handful of the most progressive skiers on the
planet to compete for the honor of hoisting the Herb’s Cup high.
Straying from the traditional formula, the format at Herb’s Cup is
simple, intense but simple. With seven minutes on the clock, you ski
your way to your hardest pass, and then burn the rest of your time
taking as many shots at that line length as possible. Skier with the
highest score wins. Ties are settled by highest cumulative buoy count
at that pass.
The 7th annual Herb’s Cup delivered in a way that no one was
expecting. With a few fresh faces in the mix it was insane to see
everyone’s strategy unfold.
Paige Rini took to the water first and had a fire in her eye. She made
short work of 32 and 35 Off without resting in-between, she simply had
the boat crew pull the rope in while spinning to save time. After
roping 38 Off, she still had 4 minutes on the clock and managed to get
multiple shots at 39 Off, ultimately finishing with a score of 2@39.
Whitney McClintock Rini came next off the dock and was looking to give
the boys a run for their money! She knew that it would take a score
well into 41 Off to be in title contention so after her 35 she opted
up to 39 Off to give herself the best shot of getting deep into 41.
Unfortunately she just couldn’t put it all together at 39 and as the
clock came to an end she would have to settle for 4.5.
K.C. Wilson, the curly king of cool, came off the dock at 35 and had
the crowd in awe of his smooth style After running a perfect 38 he
had a killer start at 39 but just fell short of the complete pass and
ended with 4.5 at 39 Off as his best attempt.
Jamie Calhoun flew off the dock guns blazing and went for the 35 to 39
jump. After a couple of bobbles he made his way all the way down the
pass only to find himself going 100mph at 6 ball and unable to
navigate his way out the exit gates. The final score for Jamie would
Joel Poland came off the next and his energy on the water was
contagious. The crowd was roaring as he hammed it up for the fans at
35 and 38 Off. Joel’s 39 would have everyone on the edge of their seat
as he needed to complete the full pass to take the lead. Joel skirted
out the exit gates and took a massive hit but was your new leader.
Joel was then able to navigate his way to 3 at 41 Off with a total
cumulative buoys of 5.5.
Robert Pigozzi may have never skied this format before but that didn’t
stop him from coming up with a unique strategy. Piggy made the bold
decision to start at 38 Off and completely destroyed the pass, he then
came straight back and roped 39, this would leave him with almost 5
full minutes to best Joel’s score. Known for his all-or-nothing style
Robert laid it down and had the crash of the day as well as a final
score of 2.5 at 41.
Stephen Neveu was last off the dock and as defending champion, he did
not want to go home empty handed. Big Nev went with a 35 start and
then opted straight to 39, a bold moved but a time saver if it works
out in your favor. Unfortunately for Stephen it didn’t happen on the
first try, or the second… with time chipping away he had to get it
done. The crowd erupted as Neveu made his way around all 6 and out the
exit gates with two minutes on the clock to best Joel’s 3@41. Neveu
got the full 3 on his first attempt causing a tie in which he would
need another full 3 to take the win. Stephen scored a 2.5 at 41 as the
clock ran out which meant one thing. For the first time in Herb’s Cup
history, we were going to a 2-Minute Super Final!
2 Minutes on the clock for our Joel Poland and Stephen Neveu. They
would go out at 41 Off for a 2 minute Runoff, high score wins!
Both boys piled in the boat and made their way down to the start dock
for a showdown. Joel would go first and came into the course with a
roaring crowd to hype him up. He was able to score 2.5 buoys at 41
Off. Nev was last and needed to get a full 3 to take the win. Stephen
has two Herb’s Cup titles and is no stranger to the pressure. The fans
on shore screamed and shouted as Neveu made his way around 3 ball and
back to the wakes to take his 3rd Herb’s Cup Title!
As Neveu skied his way to shore, fans and skiers rushed to the waters
edge with cold beers in hand to congratulate the champion!
Honoring the heart and creative spirit of Herb O’Brien is the driving
force behind the Herb’s Cup. From the skiers and the spectators to the
entire Radar family, this event ignites the pure enjoyment of the
sport and reminds everyone in attendance why we chose to ski in the
first place. With a setting sun, Stephen Neveu drank from Herb’s Cup
for the 3rd time, toasting his memory, honoring his name.