“I needed this!”… a phrase heard several times over the weekend here on Lake Allatoona for event #4 of the 2021 Wake for Warriors season. A sense of deep gratitude came over the water as a reflection of how exciting and confident we all were in cherishing these special moments following the pandemic. The BuyWake crew joined Dave Deep, founder of WFW, and the rest of the group for another inspiring weekend full of blue skies, lake vibes, and shakas all around!
Kicking off the event, the chilly air of Friday morning lifted just as the coffee ran out and the riders started to shed their wetsuits. Boats were stocked with a quiver of wakeboards, wakesurfers and CGA vests provided by the good folks from Hyperlite Wake. For the new-goers, the day as a whole was an introduction to the healing power of water sports, and the more experienced veterans were captivated by a new challenge of foiling.
“That thing is insane!,” remarked one of the participants on board behind the BuyWake Super Air Nautique G21, as experienced vet and Wake for Warriors athlete, Stefan LeRoy, worked on perfecting his technique in mastering the foil. Other veterans such as Tyler Densford jumped back into the hot seat on a Hyperlite wakesurfer featuring a custom chair made for adaptive riders and charged into the wave.
“It’s the same feeling of nostalgia I get from my passion for flying planes.”– Tyler Densford
We jumped right back into the action on Saturday as the fleet of three Super Air Nautique G Series boats were chartered out by support from our local TowBoatUS volunteers. The warm weather also brought out the the local lake life who were inspired and shared smiles and honked horns along the way for the veterans.
After a solid half-day, including some 360s and few wake-to-wake attempts, the group took a break back at the retreat for more sunscreen and snacks from the Taco Bar provided by La Parilla Mexican Restaurant. Refreshed and with full bellies, the group made their way back down to the docks for some more shredding and good times.
As the day went on more relationships were created and the bond of the group became even tighter. Some veterans found themselves lending advice and coaching from their own experiences. “It’s rewarding to not only see these veterans ripping, but to also see veterans like Tony Mullis and Stefan LeRoy now sharing their passions for water sports with new participants in the program as we once did for them,” said BuyWake crew member Levi Dills.
As we wrapped up another amazing day on the water the group headed back to Pine Acres Retreat for showers and a few adult beverages out by the bonfire, sharing stories of the fun times that were had.
A weekend in the books, but this isn’t goodbye ’til next year. We are looking forward to cheering on Wake for Warriors with the rest of the crowd beachside at the 61st Annual Nautique Masters Tournament at Callaway Gardens for some more “shredding our faces off” as they say. Also we would like to give special thanks to our Allatoona Lake community sponsors and volunteers for making this remarkable weekend possible.
For more information on event dates and how to get involved with this amazing program, please visit www.wakeforwarriors.org
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