In the double up competition Darin Shapiro, re-established his handle on wakeboarding’s top spot. Shapiro had won every professional competition in 2001 before a sub-par effort in the Ford Ranger Wakeboarding Pro last week in Pensacola, FL. Shapiro’s sixth-place finish was way off the mark for him.
True to form, Shapiro saved his best efforts for the finals of the Big Air Challenge where he pulled off the top scores of the day. Shapiro’s last double up earned him a judges score of 20.3, the best of the competition. Shapiro’s combined effort of two double ups in the finals earned him a score of 40.1, easily surpassing Shaun Murray who took second place with a combined score of 36.8.
However, for Murray the finish is his best effort of the 2001 season. Murray also had a tough week in Pensacola, failing to make the finals of an event he won in 2000. The finish brings a bit of redemption to one of wakeboarding’s top all-time performers.
Aussie, Josh Sanders proved that a turn on the podium last week was no fluke, earning another spot this week with a third-place finish in Tempe.
Now most of these competitors will have a little time off before the next major event of the season, the Masters in Callaway, Georgia. Unlike the Big Air Challenge, which showcases just two events behind Correct Craft boats, the Masters will present the top athletes in the world in slalom, ski flying and wakeboarding. The event will be held over Memorial Day weekend.