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IVAN RICHARDSON/Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer

Marley Prato gets inverted at AF Wake Championship Watersports competition last weekend.

AF Wake hosted the second annual Lake Gaston Water Sports Championships last weekend along Eaton’s Ferry Bridge. 

According to Fields Johnson, “It’s a one and done event to crown the champion Lake Gaston water sports.” This year, Johnson came in first place in the Men’s title event, Stewart Skea was first place in Womens, and Branden Smithwick came in first for the Grom title. Grom is a rider under the age of 13. 

Even though it is a local event, riders traveled from Florida and New York to participate.

“This year we had 43 participants ranging from 6 years old to riders in their 30s, competing in 14 different events and divisions that all paid cash prizes,” said Johnson. 

AF Wake hosted two watersports events this year and, according to Johnson, plan to host the same two events next year. 

“We’ll have more people involved, more resources, more sponsors, and the word is out,” he said.

This was the last wakeboard and wake surfing competition for the year, but lake season isn’t over yet. AF Wake is helping out at the Dam to Dam Challenge on Oct. 12, and the crew is hosting their third annual AF Wakesgiving customer appreciation day on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

“The 2020 gear and apparel will be out, and we grill up food for everyone,” said Johnson.

AF Wake is still offering lessons, and its camp is scheduled up until December. 

“We have wetsuits for when it gets cold,” said Johnson. “It doesn’t slow down. Lifestyle-wise, we keep rocking.”

The AF Wake crew gets to spend more time on the water when everything else slows down. Johnson is competing in a world championship wakeboarding event in Mexico on Oct. 16, and Adam Fields is competing in the IWWF competition in Saudi Arabia in November.