Herb’s Cup is like no other slalom event in the world, and for good reason. This tournament is our representation of the creativity and innovative spirit of Herb O’Brien, the founder of Radar Skis and the godfather of modern-day waterskiing. With an emphasis on family, and fun we flipped the traditional rules of competitive waterskiing on its head and invited a handful of the most progressive skiers on the planet to compete for the honor of hoisting the Herb’s Cup high.
Straying from the traditional formula, the format at Herb’s Cup is simple, intense but simple. With seven minutes on the clock, you ski your way to your hardest pass, and then burn the rest of your time taking as many shots at that line length as possible. Skier with the highest score wins. Ties are settled by highest cumulative buoy count at that pass.
The 7th annual Herb’s Cup delivered in a way that no one was expecting. With a few fresh faces in the mix it was insane to see everyone’s strategy unfold.
Paige Rini took to the water first and had a fire in her eye. She made short work of 32 and 35 Off without resting in-between, she simply had the boat crew pull the rope in while spinning to save time. After roping 38 Off, she still had 4 minutes on the clock and managed to get multiple shots at 39 Off, ultimately finishing with a score of 2@39.
Whitney McClintock Rini came next off the dock and was looking to give the boys a run for their money! She knew that it would take a score well into 41 Off to be in title contention so after her 35 she opted up to 39 Off to give herself the best shot of getting deep into 41. Unfortunately she just couldn’t put it all together at 39 and as the clock came to an end she would have to settle for 4.5.
K.C. Wilson, the curly king of cool, came off the dock at 35 and had the crowd in awe of his smooth style. After running a perfect 38 he had a killer start at 39 but just fell short of the complete pass and ended with 4.5 at 39 Off as his best attempt.
Jamie Calhoun flew off the dock guns blazing and went for the 35 to 39 jump. After a couple of bobbles he made his way all the way down the pass only to find himself going 100mph at 6 ball and unable to navigate his way out the exit gates. The final score for Jamie would be 5.5.
Joel Poland came off the next and his energy on the water was contagious. The crowd was roaring as he hammed it up for the fans at 35 and 38 Off. Joel’s 39 would have everyone on the edge of their seat as he needed to complete the full pass to take the lead. Joel skirted out the exit gates and took a massive hit but was your new leader. Joel was then able to navigate his way to 3 at 41 Off with a total cumulative buoys of 5.5.
Robert Pigozzi may have never skied this format before but that didn’t stop him from coming up with a unique strategy. Piggy made the bold decision to start at 38 Off and completely destroyed the pass, he then came straight back and roped 39, this would leave him with almost 5 full minutes to best Joel’s score. Known for his all-or-nothing style Robert laid it down and had the crash of the day as well as a final score of 2.5 at 41.
Stephen Neveu was last off the dock and as defending champion, he did not want to go home empty handed. Big Nev went with a 35 start and then opted straight to 39, a bold moved but a time saver if it works out in your favor. Unfortunately for Stephen it didn’t happen on the first try, or the second… with time chipping away he had to get it done. The crowd erupted as Neveu made his way around all 6 and out the exit gates with two minutes on the clock to best Joel’s 3@41. Neveu got the full 3 on his first attempt causing a tie in which he would need another full 3 to take the win. Stephen scored a 2.5 at 41 as the clock ran out which meant one thing. For the first time in Herb’s Cup history, we were going to a 2-Minute Super Final!
2 Minutes on the clock for our Joel Poland and Stephen Neveu. They would go out at 41 Off for a 2 minute Runoff, high score wins!
Both boys piled in the boat and made their way down to the start dock for a showdown. Joel would go first and came into the course with a roaring crowd to hype him up. He was able to score 2.5 buoys at 41 Off. Nev was last and needed to get a full 3 to take the win. Stephen has two Herb’s Cup titles and is no stranger to the pressure. The fans on shore screamed and shouted as Neveu made his way around 3 ball and back to the wakes to take his 3rd Herb’s Cup Title!
As Neveu skied his way to shore, fans and skiers rushed to the waters edge with cold beers in hand to congratulate the champion!
Honoring the heart and creative spirit of Herb O’Brien is the driving force behind the Herb’s Cup. From the skiers and the spectators to the entire Radar family, this event ignites the pure enjoyment of the sport and reminds everyone in attendance why we chose to ski in the first place. With a setting sun, Stephen Neveu drank from Herb’s Cup for the 3rd time, toasting his memory, honoring his name.