It was a sunny Saturday evening at Melton Hill Dam as the UTK Wakeboarding Club hosted the Eastern Collegiate Regional Wakeboarding Tournament.
Along with students from Wake Forest, Kentucky, Alabama and Virginia Tech, 10 UT students competed in the tournament.
Including everything from standard wakeboarding to "wake skating" (a popular new form of wakeboarding in which the rider rides a board, unattached, in a similar fashion to a skateboard), the teams competed in different categories. The competition lasted most of the day, with 30 student competitors from boys and girls divisions.
One rider, UT Wakeboarding Club president Ryan Hammond, glided effortlessly through the water, as the quarter mile track was plenty of room for Hammond to pull off some crowd-pleasing tricks, including a front flip that landed him a top finishing spot.
Jeff Gonsalez, freshman in communications, was at the event on Saturday and said he was impressed with Hammond's performance.
"He really makes doing all of those flips look way too easy," Gonzalez said.
At the end of the competition, UT finished 2nd overall, falling short only to Virginia Tech. Among UT's placing riders were Ryan Hammond, Nick Stoutt, Brad Riddick, Tyler Greene and Justin Vichich.
One highlight of the event was the attendance of pro-wakeboarder Adam Errington, who came to judge the competition. Known in the wakeboarding world as one of the fastest-rising stars in his age group, Errington has quickly become a frontrunner in the sport. Not only is he a national champion, but he has also traveled across the world competing in Austrailia, Mexico, and his home country of Scotland. Born across the Atlantic Ocean, Errington's family won a lottery-type contest that scored them citizenship to the United States when he was very young. After moving to Orlando, Fla., with his family, Errington quickly fell in love with wakeboarding. He started competing at the age of 14 and never stopped.
"I think my favorite experience in wakeboarding so far was definitely the opportunity I had to go to Canada to wakeboard on icebergs," Errington said. "It was incredible to witness that kind of scenery while doing my favorite thing in the world."
Backed by major sponsors such as Red Bull, Fox Clothing and Ronix Wakeboarding Company, and with multiple championships under his belt, the pro athlete maintains a level head about his success. Shifting time between training, traveling and competing, Errington was quite excited to be able to spend the next week at home with his family.
"As much as I love touring, there's nothing better than quality time at home," he said.
At the end of the competition, Errington signed one of his very own wakeboards and gave it to the first place winner. To keep up to date on Errington, he can be seen on the new MTV series "WakeBrothers" debuting this fall, and can be followed on Twitter at @adamerrington1.