Miami Living Magazine

Gloria & Emilio Estefan

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Page 77 of 179

EVENTS 76 MIAMI LIVING Board Up! 2009 is not your traditional stand-on-the-shore-and-watch wakeboarding contest. Entering its fourth year, Board Up (April 23-25) is a unique festival featuring a South Florida smorgasbord of events, including live music, bikini fashion shows, extreme sports demos, pro wakeboarding, an open-water swim championship, dragon- boat racing and the 93 Rock All Sports Expo with the latest and greatest in sports, fashion, and entertainment. "The idea of the event is to have all the elements that make up Miami: fun, sun, beautiful people, the beach and the water," explains Jonathan "Joner" Strauss, Board Up co-founder and director of operations for Miami Sports International (MSI) and Swim Gym Aquatics, Inc. "We host a few different bikini fashion shows that feature the Florida Marlins Mermaids and other top Miami models." This year, Board Up officials are planning to expand the Board Up franchise to include a Dunkelvolk-sponsored skate park for competition and free ride. Set to take place at Miami's Marine Stadium Basin at the entrance to Key Biscayne, the festival will also include the Nike Swim Miami, an open-water swim championship and one of the Top 16 open-water swim events in the world, featuring a 1-mile swim, a 5K swim, and the Aquavee 10K swim. "The event is also dog friendly, as we host the K-9 Krawl World Championships, a man/dog race that consists of a 200-yard swim and a run with a dog," adds Strauss. "The last event taking place as a side show will be the World Dragon Boat Championships." Featuring about 150 riders, Board Up is a pro-am wakeboarding event, meaning that amateurs and professionals compete. "The winning amateur of each division gets a chance to go up against the pros in the finals for more than $10,000 in prize money," Strauss reports. While the schedule is not complete, elimination rounds will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 23-25. Created by MSI, the competition is open to males and females of all ages and abilities. Participants can register via Board Up's Web site, All the top professional riders in the industry compete. Past riders include local favorite Jimmy LaRiche, Rusty Malinoski, Phillip Soven, Andrew Adkison, Shawn Watson, Shaun Murray, and Emily Copeland Durham. This year's Board Up will continue to grow in size, as more components get added each year. "We want to expand our target demographic so it's interesting for all ages," he explains. "You'll have fun at Board Up whether you're interested in boating, extreme sports, fashion, models, cars, apparel, cool gear, great food, live music, entertainment, family, or partying." Board Up! Wakeboarding festival pulls on Miami's love of music, sand, and surf Words by Amy Shannon

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