They flipped, twisted and landed with a splash as thousands of spectators watched in awe Saturday in Tampa.
Some of the top wakeboarders from all over the world showed off showed off their best tricks in the final day of the Red Bull Wake Open on the waters behind the Tampa Convention Center.
Eric Gerhardt brought his family out to watch the event.
"Just amazing," he said, following the morning session.
Despite and scorching sun and steamy temperatures those who attended had a blast. The atmosphere was festive as hundreds of wake-boarding enthusiasts line the shore and hung over balconies surrounding Garrison Channel.
"These guys are nuts," Thane Covert said of the competitors.
Covert watched the action from his kayak. It cost him 20 minutes of paddling to reach the event from Davis Islands but it was well worth the trek.
Approximately $50,000 in prize money was up for grabs on Saturday. The City of Tampa may stand to gain much, much more in economic impact.
Officials say the event generated over $1 million dollars in revenue. The Red Bull Wake Open and the enthusiastic reception it received may also strengthen the relationship between the city and event organizers.
"Our fellowship and our partnership with Red Bull has been absolutely insane," said Bill Geisking, Chairman of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. "We're hoping they come back with other kinds of Red Bull events."
In 2008 and again last October Tampa hosted the Red Bull Flugtag event in the same location.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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