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Marc Donahue wins Footapalooza 2011

Footapalooza Figure 8 Barefoot Tournament 2011
...is officially complete and Marc Donahue of the Freeman Funk Footers wins!

Footapalooza 2011 Winners

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Click Here to see the bracket
Click Here for more Photos

Download the entire photo gallery by clicking HERE

Click Here to see the front page of the local paper writeup
Click here for page A5 of the local paper writeup

Champion: Marc Donahue
1st Runner Up: Keith St. Onge
2nd Runner Up: JJ Link
3rd Runner Up: Ben Deiser

Another year of Figure 8 barefooting and one more tournament closer to the WBC Figure 8 series finale in Winter Haven Florida. Footapalooza was this past weekend on the 25th and started out as a typical Indiana summer weekend of 'possible showers' with a 'possibility of abundant sunshine'. Well, fortunately for Saturday, it was very sunny, warm, and included a great turnout of twenty six skiers from Wisconsin to Florida to Tennessee competing for the #1 spot and big points at the first stop of the 2011 WBC Figure 8 barefoot series.

Mike Miller vs JJ Link
JJ Link vs Mike Miller

Tucked back in a low lying area of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, Silver Lake proves once again to be a challenging Figure 8 course for all barefooters. Surrounded by trees and lined with lily pads, for the most part, the lake was glass calm all day. However, due to the size and layout of the course it forces a footer to "be on his/her toes" almost their entire run as they progress in 8's completed. It was becoming obvious that any footers completing anything over 2 1/2 8's would be in a legitimate race to win it all.

Chris McWatters vs Brad Bocke
Chris McWatters vs Brad Bocke
Ben Deiser vs Bill Lindeman
Bill Lindeman vs Ben Deiser

This year was a unique one as we had one female skier and her brother arrive to compete. Lauren Lindeman and brother Bill came into the event to compete for the first time ever. Lauren did well and managed a win against Don Simon before she lost to Mike Netzer and then suffered her second loss to her very own brother Bill. That just proves, blood is not necessarily thicker than water.

As the day wore on, the top Figure 8 footers in the world were making it apparent that they would be among the top finishers on this day at Footapalooza. From the likes of JJ Link, last year's Figure 8 Series winner, defending 2010 Footapalooza champ Freddie Deiser, 2010 Foot Stock Champ Marc Donahue, 2009 Foot Stock Champ Ron Blouw, or Keith St. Onge to name a few, the field was packed with legitimate competition as well as some "unknowns" like Ben Deiser, of the Freeman Funk Footers, or first time competitor to ever take part in a Figure 8 Tourney, Paul Miller of Indianapolis who made their way through the field as 'footers to be reckoned with'.

Freddie Deiser eats the cabbage while taking on Paul Miller
Footers waiting to get their turn to foot on the floating dock

Paul Miller had a decent showing his first time at a Figure 8, beating the likes of last year's Footapalooza Champ, Freddie Deiser. Chris McWatters, the main event organizer, had a decent showing, taking out Mike Hynes and Brad Bocke before falling to KSO. In the end, it came down to 4 footers. Ben Deiser, JJ Link, Keith St. Onge and Marc Donahue. These 4 guys skied all day as if they were on a mission. St. Onge had to march back through the losers bracket after getting a bye in the first round, but then losing his second run to Mike Netzer. Ben Deiser had a strong run on Saturday as he took out footer after footer. After beating Paul Miller and avenging his brother Freddie, Ben took out Bill Lindeman and then Mike Netzer before falling to KSO, as many others seemed to do on Saturday.

Marc suffers his first loss of the day to Keith St. Onge

Marc Donahue had a rather quiet day as he took out his competition and appeared to look steady and on pace even after suffering a rather serious injury to his right foot after he hit a log on his local lake a few weeks before Footapalooza. It seems to me, the more this guy gets hurt, the better he gets. The year before last he hit a log while barefooting, as some of you know, and broke his left heel into a gazillion pieces (well maybe not that many but it was pieces). Since then he has been a Figure 8 Footing machine, winning Footstock 2010 and finishing in at least the top 3 of almost every Figure 8 he has competed in.

Marc vs. KSO

As Marc took out Eric DeVries and then JJ Link, KSO marched through the losers bracket, taking out McWatters, Freddie, Ben Deiser and then JJ. The competition finally boiled down to two. Marc Donahue vs Keith St. Onge. Keith needed two wins against Marc in order to claim the #1 spot and become the 2011 Footapalooza Champ. Marc and Keith took to the water and skied a masterful 3 1/2 8's before Marc finally fell for the first time all day.  Keith felt good about the win but knew he still had to take Marc down one more time. When asked if they needed 5-10 minutes for a rest, the usual reply from Marc was "I'm ready whenever he is". The level of competitive friction between these two was so thick you could cut it with a knife, however the camaraderie, moral support, friendship, and laughs were there as well. Once again the two took to the water. This time however, 2 1/2 eights into the run, KSO was taken down by Marc Donahue. It was a great day for a Figure 8 tournament and we would like to thank all those involved who helped make it happen.

Left to Right: JJ Link Marc Donahue, Keith St. Onge, Chris McWatters

Freeman Funk Footers
The Freeman Funk Footers - Left to Right: Chris McWatters, Mike Miller, Freddie Deiser, Ben Deiser, Marc Donahue, Blair Austin

A special thanks to Thor Thoradson and the Lake Owners for allowing us to use this awesome location for our tournament!

Another big thanks goes to the organziers, Chris McWatters, Mike Miller and Marc Donahue. As well as a hugh thank you to JJ Link's brother Scott and his Wife. Scott was a judge in the boat almost the entire day while his wife ran the bracket! Thanks to you both! Without them this would have never been possible!

Final Standings and Points:

 1 Mark Donahue        60
 2 Keith St. Onge        45
 3 James Link             30
 4 Ben Deiser              25
 5 Ron Blouw              20
 5 Michael Netzer        20
 7 Freddie Deiser        15
 7 Bill Lindeman       15
 9 Chris McWaters     10
 9 Eric DeVries          10
 9 Mike Miller           10
 9 Paul Miller           10
13 Brad Bocke           5
13 Thor Thordason    5
13 Craig Campbell      5
13 Daniel Tanis           5
17 Chuck Stein           0
17 Mike Hynes           5
17 Aaron Tanis          0
17 Don Simon            0
17 Lauren Lindeman   0
17 Blair Austin              0
17 Patrick Felgner      5
17 Craig Baker           0
25 Jason Kadlec        0
25 Ronald Coonse      0


World Barefoot Center

KSO Wetsuits

Bomber Floating Sunglasses and Safety Glasses

Reef Safe Biodegradeable Sunscreen

Vemma Power Drinks

Jennie Rae's Restaurant

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 @ 09:20:49 EDT by admin

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