Former Model student Jeff Langley has achieved the Holy Grail of professional wakeboarding — earning a selection to the invite-only 54th Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament.
The event started Friday and ends on Sunday at Calloway.
Langley is scheduled to compete in the Pro Men’s Wakeboard category, beginning with the semifinals today and the finals on Sunday.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Langley in a phone interview with the RN-T on Thursday night. “I would never have thought I’d be wakeboarding in an event like this, and it’s great for all my sponsors.
“They’re really excited for me, and it looks pretty good on a resume,” he said.
In fact, “pretty good on a resume” is an understatement when it comes to wakeboarding, as the Masters is arguably the most elite water skiing, wakeskating and wakeboarding competitions in the world.
On top of that, Langley was one of only 10 professional male wakeboarders in the world to be invited the event.
“If you get an invite to the Masters, it’s a career highlight for most people,” said Langley.
Langley, a former Rome resident who now lives in Florida, graduated from Model in 2005.
Langley was the kicker for the Blue Devils football team and played on the soccer team.
But Langley found his real passion — wakeboarding — in 2004 at his father’s water ski school in the Coosa area.
“I’ve been on water all my life, and in 2004, I got really into it,” said Langley.
Langley is also participating in a recreational golf tournament that is part of the Masters during what is shaping out to be a busy Memorial Day weekend for the pro wakeboarder.
The gates open for the event at 6 a.m. each day, and Langley’s events will be today between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.