Southern Shootout: Q.&A. With Gator Skim Club president Jacob Lepera

The Southern Shootout contest organized by the National Collegiate Skimboarding Association was held for the first time this year on February 27 in Deerfield Beach, Fla. UF Water Sports Connection caught up with Gator Skim Club president Jacob Lepera and asked him what he thought of the contest.

UF WSC:
So first of all, what was the agenda for the contest and what was it like to be there competing?

Jacob Lepera:
Well it was an all day event that started at seven in the morning, so we got to the beach and it was man-on-man heats, so it's really quick. You're just rotating through your heats and it was pretty fun. The weather was good. The skim wasn't very good, but that's common for skimboarding contests unfortunately. It was a good time though. We had about 20 people travel down there with us from Gainesville, and it was fun to be in a competitive environment where you're definitely repping your school. We ended up having twelve people from our team that actually competed.

UF WSC:
Were there any difficulties with the contest?

Jacob Lepera:
Actually, everything went pretty smoothly. The biggest challenge on my end was getting the funding from the school. They weren't really objecting to it, but there's just a long process that you have to go through to get funded, and obviously it's a long way to travel to get 20 people down there, because Deerfield is in Boca Raton. Fortunately, we were able to get a little bit of money from the school and that allowed us to get down there.

UF WSC:
So FAU ended up winning the recreational division and the contest overall, and UCF won the competitive division, but you walked away with third place in the recreational division. How do you think the UF team did overall, and is there anything that you guys want to improve on?

Jacob Lepera:
I think we did well. It was definitelty a lot more competitive than I thought it would be. There were a lot of good kids there so we had our work cut out for us.