As you watch the "pros" do their thing at the Red
Bull Wake Open in Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa, you realize pretty early this isn't
your average every day of wake boarding on the water—this is serious.
"The tricks in the air are obviously the best
part," said Kelly Sivyer.
The tricks are likely to take your breath away, and for good
reason—you're watching the best in the biz.
"We've got the top 20 wake boarders in the world coming
to compete in Tampa,"
said Jason Aughey of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
This is the first event of its kind, and it's making it's
debut in Tampa.
Organizers expect large crowds. They say
more than 100,000 people came out for the Flugtag, Red Bull's signature event,
when it was in Tampa
earlier this year.
They say that's one of the reasons the Wake Open is in Tampa.
"We were able to build a relationship with everyone and
make this happen," said Aughey.
It's something the fans appreciate, and that appreciation
pays off big time.
"We're projecting a little over a million dollars in
direct spending throughout Tampa, and over a
thousand room nights throughout the downtown Tampa area," said Aughey.
But the Wake Open is about more than just cash to fans, it's
about watching amazing feats in the water and in the air.
"You can jump big, high, tall and you fall in
water," said Keven Tinsley of Tampa.
And if things work out, this may become a Tampa tradition.
"This is something that were hoping to build off of the
success of year one this weekend and then bring back on an annual basis," Aughey
That could make a lot of people in this area very happy.
"Bring it on, bring it on absolutely, I would love
it," said Tinsley.