CRANDON - Hundreds of people braved the weather to watch the 2019 Footstock Barefoot National Championships in Crandon Sunday.
"The wind and the rain just add confusion, but it makes it interesting," said competitor Andre Devilliers.
The event attracts athletes from around the world.
Devilliers was born in South-Africa, where he got into the sport at age 9.
"The fun thing about this sport [is] anybody can do it," said Devilliers.
12-year-old Sophie Miljevich started barefooting only a month ago.
"I just wanted to learn how to barefoot and now here I am," said Miljevich.
Miljevich, a Rhinelander native, beat a two-time women's national champion to take the title.
"If someone wants to try it, do it. You're never going to regret it," said Miljevich.
Over 140 skiers came out to participate.
Among them was 10-time national champion Peter Fleck, who's still going strong at age 55.
"It's a lot of fun to go up against some of the younger guys and give them a hard time," said Fleck.
Although the competitive spirits were high, athletes showed nothing but respect for one another.
"People just rally around each other," said event organizer Gary Mueller. "They support each other on and off the water. That's just one of the things that makes Footstock so unique."