On Monday, we got a glimpse of the beginnings of the massive structure Pat Panakos is assembling on Lake Eola in downtown Orlando for an event Red Bull is calling Wake Lab. It doesn't look like much now, but when it's finished Thursday, it will be arguably the most elaborate setup wakeboarding has ever seen.
The Wake Lab will also mark the U.S. competitive debut of Sesitec's new System 2.0, a portable straight-line cable system that will tow riders over the park's elevated pool, hand rails and half pipe.
Parks Bonifay hand-selected 24 of the world's best riders to compete in the innovative event, which kick offs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Twelve of those riders will vie for eight spots in the semifinals, while another 12, including Red Bull riders JD Webb, Adam Errington, Josh Sanders and Bonifay will automatically advance to the semifinals.
(All invited riders automatically qualify for the semifinals starting at 8 p.m.)
(Riders in this group will have two rounds of qualifying sessions starting at 4 p.m. to complete the field.)
Wake Lab Schedule:
Friday, September 12, 2998
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Open practice sessions on Lake Eola
Saturday, September 13, 2008
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Qualifying Round – Four groups of three. Four riders advance to the quarterfinals
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Quarterfinals – Four groups of four. Eight riders advance to the semifinals
7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.: DJ Swamp opens the event
7:45 p.m.: Red Bull Air Force skydive demo
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Semifinals and Finals: Two groups of four riders compete. Only four athletes advance to the final round.
9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: DJ Swamp Closes Event and Award Presentation