KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - With more than double the athletes than last year’s event, the Keystone Heights Motosurf stop over the weekend gave watersports fans more thrills, a few crashes and plenty of …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - With more than double the athletes than last year’s event, the Keystone Heights Motosurf stop over the weekend gave watersports fans more thrills, a few crashes and plenty of splashes as the races for the event were all finishe with thrilling split second finishes.
“We have racers from all over the world; Canada, Indonesia, Bosnia, Mexico, Chile with American racers coming from other water sports including five time jetski world champion Mark Gross,” said Motosurf event spokesman Andrew Prikryl. “Anthony Squire, from North Carolina, is a current world cup competitor and the American champion. He could win all the races today.”
Prikryl noted that the Keystone Heights events has become one of the more sought events on the pro tour due to the hospitality of the local fans.
“The people here are fantastic and we have the athletes housed in many AirBNBs around the area,” said Squire, 27, and the pro mens champion for the day in both the Electric challenge and the Motosurf final. “I stayed in an AirBNB off a lake and Friday we had 30 athletes out there for a little barbecue and lakeside party. It was fantastic.”
Squiree said the youth challenges for the weekend provided some of the best races of the weekend with riders from around the country getting a good look at the competition and being part of it.
“For Europe, this sports is like American football here,” said Squire. “Over there, it is huge and the kids start very young to get this good. For America, the sport is growing from a hobby to a legit sports to train for.”
Squire, who noted that, at last year’s Keystone Heights event, he did not do well.
“I was fifth, but got a good taste of the sports,” said Squire, a construction manager in North Carolina. “I’ve been a water sports guy all my life and raced some motorcycles and even fly boarding. Kind of whatever sport we can find that’s off the grid.”
Squire got his first board four years ago, got hit with the COVID year, then got fifth in Keystone Heights last year. Last year, Squire said he may have been the only American rider on the pro circuit.
“I just rode and raced as much as I can; Cancun, Italy, Croatia, to race against the best and get better,” said Squire. “The community in the sports are really nice and everyone helps the other guys.”
One of the key rivalries of the day was Squire and Mexico national champion Juan Pable, a 10-time national champion, with both tangling up in prelims and qualifying for races separated by milliseconds with Squire holding the edge into the final.
Pablo, 44, said him and Squire duking it out is a matter of age versus youth.
“One little error on the course is the difference,” said Pablo, racing since 2015 and with his wife ranked 11th in the world. “He’s very exact in his riding. We are going about 35-40 miles per hour out there and with the wind, any air under the board can knock out off course.”
In the mens final on Sunday, Pablo held a slight edge going into the final lap with Squire breathing down his back until the final turn when Squire, with a near disastrous left turn hugging just inside the buoy, uprighted and got a burst past Pable to win the event.
“I messed up three times out there and he was right on me,” said Squire.”He was sneaky and stayed just out of my sight so I had to think about what he was doing. It was a great race to end the weekend.”
In the womens final, won decisively up front from eventual winner, the second place finish came down to a jostle at the finish line to make things spicey.