A great weekend was had by all as Loch Lomond Wakeboard and the Ardlui Hotel played host to the legendary Scottish wakeboarding festival, Loch Stock.
With the sun beating down on Saturday, wakeboarders lined the banks of Loch Lomond, all eager to bag themselves a coaching spot with American Pro Wakeboarder, Shawn Watson and the chance to ride behind the awesome Super Air Nautique G23 boat.
As the adult riders recounted tales of their experience riding behind such a powerful boat and how they wondered if they would ever come down from jumping off the huge wake; little 8 year old Matilda joined 5 other junior wakeboarders for their coaching session on the G23. Nerves were running high and when it came for the coaching to begin, the youngest member of the riders, Matilda was ‘volunteered’ to go first. Biting her lip in true determination, pint size Matilda showed that ‘This Girl Can’ as unfaltering, she rode out her time. Returning to the boat, Matilda said of the wake, “It was massive!”
With the sun starting to set, Shawn Watson took to the water to finish off the day with a ‘Big Air’ demonstration in front of a flotilla of Nautique boats.
In the evening, live music from Master Shafter raised the roof in the Ardlui Hotel. And with a guest appearance from Rory McCann, aka Game of Thrones star ‘The Hound’; festival goers could hardly believe their eyes.
Sunday and the weather had change for the Loch Stock Wakeboarding Competition. But the rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm or the spirt of the riders. The juniors took to the water first and in the Under 10’s category, 9 year old Bruno reaped the benefits of Shawn Watson’s advice as he took first place in the competition. Joining him on the podium were Matilda, 8 and Reece, 6.
In the Under 16’s category, Matilda’s brother, 14 year old Harry, walked away with the win. In his first attempts behind the G23 boat, Harry had shown promising skill during the coaching sessions on Saturday; certainly one to look out for in the future. Both riding well, Harvey & Archie took second and third place respectively.
The day continued with competitions for both amateur and pro men and 2 ladies categories. Once again the standard was high; showing that wakeboarding in Scotland is alive and kicking. Notable performances came from Johnny Carne & Tony Evans who’s skill and technique made them stand out from their fellow competitors.
The prize giving ceremony brought the day to a close and the end to yet another successful Loch Stock Event.
Event organiser, Raymond Colquhoun said; “Loch Stock is now in its ninth year and every year the event just gets bigger and better. We’ve had tremendous support form the wakeboarding industry, our sponsors, partners and the wakeboarding community, who have all come together to make Loch Stock 2016 a truly fantastic event.
Whilst this is a Scottish event, wakeboarders joined us from across the UK, Europe, New Zealand and America, giving Loch Stock an international reach.
We’re already planning and are really looking forward to 2017 where we will be celebrating the 10th edition of Loch Stock.”
American Pro Wakeboarder, Shawn Watson said, “Loch Stock is a fantastic event; it brings together wakeboarders of all ages and abilities who all learn from one another. The level of riding was great and there are some really promising youngsters to watch out for.
I’ve had an amazing time in Scotland. The scenery at Loch Lomond is breath-taking and the Ardlui Lodges overlooking the Loch with the hot tubs and saunas made the stay so enjoyable. I have to thank Raymond and the staff from Loch Lomond Wakeboarding and Scotland Nautique for inviting me over and for looking after me over the weekend. It was a shame we couldn’t stay longer; I definitely want to come back and see more of Scotland next time.”
Featured image: American Pro Wakeboarder, Shawn Watson demoing for the crowd. Photo: ExPix