beaver dam

Barefoot Circles

Back in ‘the day’ all of the barefoot circles you’d see in a ski show were BIG. Lately, they’ve grown a little smaller so they can both keep the action in front of the audience and say they did 5, 6 or 7 circles.

Me, I’m still impressed when teams go big. Even more impressed when they go multiple boats. Here’s a video of the Must-Skis of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin doing both.

Barefoot Circles

Best Dam Barefoot Race 2010 Highlight Video

Tommy Schmidt put together a little video with some highlights from the race this past weekend. He was limited to just the one camera and it was in his boat for the actual race, but it shows the fun that everyone has in a barefoot endurance race. Check it out below…


Best Dam Barefoot Race Highlight Video

Best Dam Barefoot Race 2010 Results

The results are in for the 2010 Best Dam Barefoot Race held earlier today (May 15, 2010).

After lots of wind in 2007, a little less wind in 2008, then way too much wind in 2009, so much that they delayed the race by a day only to run it in 40 degree temperatures, the weather gods finally smiled on the race as weather was near perfect in Beaver Dam, WI. At race time, the temperature was near 60 degrees, is was partly sunny and just enough breeze to let you know that there was wind. The lake behind Dawn & Woody’s Moonlight Bar was nearly glass.


waiting for the horn to sound

Shortly after 11am, the boats idled out to the starting line and about 11:10am, the horn sounded and the 5 boats took off with their barefooters in tow.  In two falls that likely impacted the final results, Aaron Schoezl, a past Footstock Figure-8 Champion, fell on his deep water start. One other footer also quickly fell, but their identity was a mystery to those of us on shore (update – per Mike Miller in a comment below, it was Mark Mahan that fell.)


and they’re off

And with that, the boats disappeared behind the point as they raced northeast towards the far end of the lake. After about 8 minutes, we heard from one of the spotter boats that the first wave of footers were passing them. About 15 minutes into the race, we heard from the turn-a-round boat that four boats were already on their way back towards the finish.

As the race timer ticked towards the 27 minute mark, we could hear the roar of some of the boat motors as they raced back towards the finish line. As the timer crossed 27 minutes, the first boat, Team Mahnke, appeared past the point and raced across the finish line with a time of 27:12.

As the winners fished their final footer out of the water and cracked open their first celebratory beers, another boat, Team Mahan, made it’s appearance around the point, turning towards the finish line, when their footer fell. They quickly turned the boat around and put the handle back in the footer’s hands as another boat, Barefoot Central’s Team, appeared from behind the point. Team Mahan with their footer on the end of the rope, quickly took off towards the line, finishing with a time of 28:13 and they were followed quickly by Barefoot Central with a time of 28:24. The fourth boat, Hotfooters, finished 49 seconds later with a time of 29:13.


Team Manke enjoying their celebratory beers

After a 22 mile race, the top four teams were separated by a mere 2:01.

Back to the falls from the beginning of the race… Aaron Schoezl’s team, took 3rd behind the Mahan Team by 11 seconds. If Aaron or Mark don’t fall, they both likely contending for first. The initial pickup probably cost them about 45 seconds, maybe  a little more, maybe a little less. Those falls put them about a minute behind the eventual winners.

Update: One last note… Team Mahnke was also hampered by an 8-cylinder engine running on what they thought was 6, so they didn’t have nearly the speed that they are use to. It was fine for the initial start, but after that, they just couldn’t get the same speed. Even with the handicap, they were still able to win the race.

Here the the final standings after the race:

  1. Team Manke – 27:12 (Bob Mahnke, Luke Bruchner, Chad Mietz, Paul Stokes, Mark Donahue)
  2. Team Mahan – 28:13 (Mark Mahan, Rob Christenson, Chris McWaters, John Debelak, Mike Miller)
  3. Barefoot Central – 28:24 (Chris Van Zealand, Aaron Schoezl, Scoot Reed, Lucas Twelemeyer, Jamie Kumlien)
  4. Hotfooters – 29:13 (Mike Peterson, Gary Slawny, Dan Weinberger, Marci Holtz, Dave Strobel)
  5. Team Hughes – 44:22 (Tommy Schmidt, Andy W., Shane Hughes, Chad Behl, Tyler Sweeney)


recapping their races to each other

Ice Footing

The boys (and girl) from Beaver Dam suited up early this year, hitting the water on March 21st this year. The lake had thawed just enough so that there was open water on one side while ice covered the rest. With the exception of Sarah who just wore  a shorty, the rest suited up in their drysuits doing their best impressions of the Stay Puft Marshallmellow Man to enjoy a bright sunny day on the still very cold water.


Cold Feet

The air on this day was in the 40s while the water was dangerously close to freezing. Be sure to watch all the way to the end where you see why you don’t go out on thin ice.

Thanks for the video Tommy!

Best Dam Barefoot Race is Saturday, May 15

Just got off the phone (yes people do call me and let me know about events) and found out that the Best Dam Barefoot Race will be taking place on Saturday, May 15 on Beaver Dam Lake in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It’ll be a 22 mile relay race for teams of 4 or 5 footers.

Last year the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday (just a tad bit windy) and on Sunday when the ran the rice, although it was very sunny, the actually temperature was way cold (we’re talking 30’s). Hopefully, the weather cooperates a bit more this year.

More details on registration and cost will be coming soon.