Family, Format, and Feels.
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.
- K.C. Wilson. K.C. has done it all, World Champ, National Champ, a decorated pro career and regarded as the smoothest skier in the business.
- Joel Poland. The most buzz-worthy skier in the game. World Record Holder, World Champion, Poland works the hardest while having the most fun doing it.
- Stephen Neveu. The tall Canadian, Big Nev: Pro Tour winner, World Champion and past Herb’s Cup winner.
- Jamie Calhoun. The New Kid. Jamie is a disciple of Jason McClintock and skis with similar power and precision. Rife with potential, Jamie holds the keys to the future of shortline slalom skiing.
- Corey Vaughn. Peace-Love Corey is on the short list of people to have ever run 41 Off. The defending Herb’s Cup Champion is also one of the most sought-after coaches in the world.
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 guys got the ball aggressively rolling in the qualifying round with Stephen Neveu and Joel Poland both running 3 @ 41 Off. Backup cumulative scores would put Poland in the driver’s seat as top seed into the final. As the Pacific Northwest faithfuls lined the shore and squeezed into the three-ball ‘splash zone’ K.C. Wilson took to the water, determined to post a score for the guys to chase.
After a flawless 38 Off, KC took down a scrappy 39 to finish with 1@41 letting the remaining skiers on the dock know that this year’s Cup would have to be battled for.
2021 runner-up Jamie Calhoun was next out with the bittersweet memories of what could have been from the previous year. After finding his groove through his opening two passes of 35 and 38 Off, Calhoun couldn’t stay on his feet through 39 finishing with 4@39.
Defending champion Corey Vaughn was next out and was intent upon taking the Cup back to Virginia. Following his same high-risk high high-reward strategy from last year, Vaughn went for his famed 35 Off, straight to 39 Off approach. Although it took him two attempts to clear his 39 Vaughn was quickly into 41 with time on the clock. After a quick breather, Corey ended up with 2@41 with two skiers remaining on the dock.
2018 Champion Stephen Neveu took to the water and was eager to fill the Cup once more. Employing the strategy of zero rest and zero wasted time between passes, Neveu quickly and efficiently ran through his 35, 38, and 39 Off passes, leaving plenty of time on the clock to amass buoys at 41 Off. After a quick breather Big Nev put up a 3@41 with only one skier remaining.
Current World Overall Champion Joel Poland embodies the spirit of Herb’s Cup and had his sights on taking the Cup back to England. After working his way through a solid 39, Poland instructed the boat to just spin the boat after each pass, “keep spinning until I win,” he said after his 39, maximizing his shots at 41. After running 2@41 twice, Poland turned two ball on his third attempt, clipping three ball and crashing as his time expired.
1. Stephen Neveu 3@41
2. Joel Poland 2@41 (5.5 @41 Cumulative)
3. Corey Vaughn 2@41 (3.5@41 Cumulative)
4. K.C. Wilson 1@41
5. Jamie Calhoun 4@39
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, toasting his memory, honoring his name.