Michael Robinson didn’t know it at the time, but as the first day of the GOODE Bracket Challenge Finals ended in Ogden, Utah, his odds of winning the $5,000 perfect bracket grand prize had just improved dramatically.
Jeremy Newby-Ricci had just topped Chad Scott, while Dave Miller had taken out Jay Leach to advance to a finals match up with Jeremy; just as Michael, a Men’s 5 skier from South Carolina, had predicted when he filled out his bracket in May.
As day two of the Finals began, all Michael needed to pocket five thousand large ones was his pick to win it all – Jeremy – beating Dave in the head-to-head.
“I really wanted to win the tournament because the competition was so tough and the format was a lot of fun,” said Jeremy, who’d done the math on his own and knew that the perfect bracket rested on his shoulders. “But I have to say that knowing I’d either make or break a fan’s bracket put a little bit of extra pressure on me. I didn’t want to be the reason that someone missed out on that kind of money.”
In the end, Michael’s intuition in May held true in September as Jeremy posted a huge score of 3 buoys at 41 off to edge Dave’s 1.5 buoys at the same line length (for more details on the on-the-water competition, view the video here).
“No way, are you serious?” asked a stunned Michael when GOODE Skis president and founder Dave Goode called him from the lake to tell him he’d won $5,000.
At first thinking he had no chance of scoring the perfect bracket, Michael’s interest and optimism understandably increased with each round.
“I watched kinda casually through the Sweet 16,” said Michael, whose fan contest name was Summer skiOFF, “but I really started to pay attention with the Elite Eight. Even then I thought it was a long shot so I didn’t really talk about it too much, except with my wife Terri.”
So how did he pick Jeremy to win it all, and eschew the most popular fan pick, 2013 Bracket Challenge Champion Regina Jaquess?
“I saw Jeremy ski at the 2013 Big Dawg finals and was obviously impressed,” said Michael, himself the 2012 Men’s 4 U.S. national champion. “I knew he was a very accomplished skier and when you watch him ski he just gets it done. I actually saw him at Nationals this year and told him I picked him to win it all and wished him luck.”
Asked what he was going to do with the $5,000, Michael said that since learning about his newfound largess he and his wife have been able to pull the trigger on a trip to the Bahamas this December to celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary.
While money was at stake in the online fan contest, pride was the prize in the actual, on-the-water Bracket Challenge.
In the Final Four, No. 1 seed Jeremy faced off against No. 5 Chad, while the other side of the frame featured No. 2 Jay vs. No. 3 Dave.
Both Chad and Jay, southern fellas that they are, struggled a bit early on in the cooler water temperature, something that Jeremy and Dave, who hail from England and Canada respectively, weren’t fazed by. Chad and Jay recovered though in the 3rd/4th place match-up, both running into 41 off with Jay edging Chad for third place by a buoy with 1 at 41 off.
In the final round, Jeremy stayed true to his No. 1 seed and beat Dave, 3 buoys to 1.5 at 41 off.
Like us, the ski testers at Backcountry magazine are starting to get pretty amped up for the upcoming snow ski season, and from the sounds of their review, they are also looking forward to more time on the GOODE Sorcerer carbon fiber snow skis too.
Editors say that the Sorcerer “conjured up a little magic with testers” who heralded its capability in all turn shapes.
One tester said the Sorcerer can “bust out any radius turn, any time,” while another said it was “really nimble, but not afraid to rail long turns.”
The field is set for next week’s GOODE Bracket Challenge Final Four in Ogden, Utah.
Jeremy Newby-Ricci, Jay Leach, Dave Miller, and Chad Scott are all that’s left of the 32 skiers who began the Bracket Challenge in June. Not making the cut in a minor upset is defending champion and fan favorite Regina Jaquess, whose score of 2 at 41 was topped by Chad’s last tournament round in August, 3 at 41.
The Final Four matchups are:
No. 1. Jeremy Newby-Ricci vs. No. 5. Chad Scott
No. 2. Jay Leach vs. No. 3. Dave Miller
The semi-final round will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, at GOODE Ski Lake in downtown Ogden. Each skier’s top score from the day’s two rounds will be used to determine who advances to the finals. The finals will be held the next day in a single, winner-take-all round of skiing.
In the fan-submitted brackets contest, one contestant remains in the hunt for the $5,000 perfect bracket grand prize. In order to collect the $5,000, Summer skiOFF needs Jeremy and Dave to advance to the finals, with Jeremy taking the title.
While Summer skiOFF is the only contestant with a shot at a perfect bracket, six other contestants are still in contention to win the top prize, the record-breaking Nano OneXT.
Skiers riding GOODEs once again dominated the action at the GOODE U.S. National Water Ski Championships, winning 16 of 29, or just over 55 percent, of the slalom titles awarded at San Marcos River Ranch in San Marcos, Texas.
A week that began with Regina Jaquess leading a 1-2-3 GOODE sweep of Open Women’s slalom on the first day of competition ended five days later with Don Aschenbrenner winning the last event of the championships, Men’s 4 slalom.
Skiers winning national slalom titles on GOODEs were:
B1 Cooper Tate
B2 Griffin Stange
M1 Dane Mechler (video)
M4 Don Aschenbrenner
M5 Tim Huston
M7 Dennis Longo
M9 Jerry Hosner
M11 Harry Price
G2 Brooke Baldwin
W1 Keri Mcclure
W3 Trish Burt
W5 Joy Kelley
W7 Ruth Johnston
W9 Maria Walsh
W10 Artis Price
OW Regina Jaquess (video)
The Team GOODE national title count was nearly 18, as two of GOODE’s top junior skiers tied for first in their respective divisions before eventually finishing second in runoffs.
In Boy’s 3, Daniel Di Pol, the 2013 champion, tied Taylor Garcia, with 2 buoys at 39-1/2 off, before getting edged in the runoff.
In Girl’s 3, Ruth McCreary tied eventual champion Samantha Dumala with a score of 2 at 38 off before finishing second, a huge accomplishment for a skier competing in only her second year in Girl’s 3.
Our congratulations go out to all skiers who participated, made the podium or won titles.
It’s difficult to track hundreds of skiers across multiple lakes over the course of six days of action, so if we failed to include you in the list above, or mistakenly did so, please accept our apologies and email us the details at email@example.com.
Freddie Winter continues to serve notice to the slalom world with a big victory in Europe over the weekend.
The 2013 Worlds bronze medalist added to his growing resume by winning the 2014 European Championships in Melice, Czech Republic.
Freddie scored 1-1/4 buoys at 41 off to edge fellow GOODE Team skier and multiple time World and European champion Thomas Degasperi, who scored 1 at 41. With Thomas the top seed and still to come in the final round, Freddie made an extraordinary effort (check out the video here) to get outside two ball and secure the quarter buoy that would end up being the deciding margin.
Joining Freddie and Thomas on the leaderboard were GOODE skiers Martin Bartalsky (4th with 1 @ 41), Daniel Odvarko (5th with 4.5 at 39) and Carlo Allais (6th with 3 @ 39).
On the Women’s side GOODE skiers Chaira Bonnemann took fifth in slalom, while her sister, Giannina, finished second in overall.
Dane Mechler and Tyler Scott finished first and second as Team GOODE took the top two spots in Men’s 1 slalom at the GOODE U.S. Water Ski National Championships.
Competing in his first year in Men’s 1, Dane posted a huge score of 2 buoys at 41-feet off to win his first national title. His score would have taken third in Open Men, which Dane plans to ski in next year.
GOODE skiers took home two other titles on day 2 of Nationals, as Cooper Tate finished first in Boy’s 1 slalom and Griffin Stange won the title in Boy’s 2.
Team GOODE continues to dominate Open Women’s slalom at the GOODE U.S. Water Ski National Championships as for the second-consecutive year GOODE skiers have swept the top-3 spots.
Regina Jaquess finished first by becoming the only skier to run the 39-1/2 pass. April Coble-Eller took second with 2 buoys at 39-1/2 off and Karen Truelove third with 2.5 at 38. Fellow GOODE skier Erika Lang finished fifth with 2 at 35.
Team GOODE continues it’s hot streak as it took half of the slalom podiums at this week’s Mastercraft Pro Water Ski Shootout in Calgary, Canada.
GOODE’s Nick Parsons took third in Men’s slalom, finishing behind champion Nate Smith and Will Asher. Nick earned a spot in the final-three matchup by posting a great score of 3 buoys at 41-feet off, which was tied for that round’s highest score. The podium finish is his second in less than a year, after also finishing third at the Diablo Shores Pro Am last fall.
Fellow Team GOODE skier Freddie Winter barely missed out on a top-three finish, taking fourth with 2.5 buoys at 41-feet off, while GOODE newcomer Daniel Odvarko and Thomas Degasperi also advanced to the eight-skier finals.
On the Women’s side, April Coble-Eller and Karen Truelove took second and third, respectively, while Whitney McClintock finished first. Heading into the final-three matchup, April was tied with Whitney for top score with 2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off.
The great results for Team GOODE come days after it claimed three titles and numerous podiums at the Malibu Open, and comes in a season in which Thomas claimed both the Moomba and Masters titles, and Regina Jaquess (who did not compete at the Mastercraft Shootout) won the Masters and Malibu Open titles.