Orlando, Florida - The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour kicked off the 2003 season in a place where few of today's new crop of top pros on the Tour have competed, Cranes Roost in Altamonte Springs. Some of the top moments in the history of the Tour presented by Chevy Trucks and GM Vortec engines have been carried out at Cranes Roost.
Still, many of the young faces who qualified for the Pro Men's Semifinals on Saturday seem to care little for that history, but are determined to make some of their own magical moments out on the lake just off I-4.
Two young pros who live within walking distance of the lake made everyone think of the future as young Phillip "Froggy" Soven and Danny Harf moved into Sunday's semifinals with good qualifying rounds on Saturday.
Soven, 13 and Harf, 17 have already made a name for themselves in the sport of wakeboarding. Harf enters 2003 as the two-time defending champion of the X Games and Soven, the youngest pro in wakeboarding history when he joined the Pro Tour in 2001 at the age of 11 is starting to impress his peers with a number of top finishes.
While these young riders impressed the judges and crowds they will have to do quite a bit more on Sunday to beat top Pro Tour veterans Shaun Murray, Darin Shapiro and Erik Ruck each of whom won their qualifying heat on Saturday to advance into Sunday's semifinal rounds.
While the Pro Wakeboard Tour was making a return to an old site, the SeaDoo Pro Wakeskate Series was debuting at Cranes Roost with many of the same riders who helped establish the site as one of the top places to ride in the world. Former Pro Wakeboard Tour riders Scott Byerly, Thomas Horrell, Brannon Meek and Drew McGuckin competed in the first-ever pro wakeskate tour.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, presented by Chevy Trucks and GM Vortec Engines, is a five-event circuit organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Florida. Powered by Indmar, the Pro Tour has the support of the following: Bud Light, 180 Energy Drink, SeaDoo watercraft, Hyperlite, Perfect Pass, Activision, Liquid Force, Epiphone Guitars, CWB, OJ Props, Gator Boards, Chipper Beef Jerky, Earthboard, Bare Wetsuits, buywake.com, Billabong, Reef, Love Sac, Body Glove, Capix Helmets, JoyRide, 3thirteen, Indo Boards, One Percent Designs, UGP, Straightline, Bootie Lube, Liquid Lube, Monaco and Barts Water Sports.
Pro Men Quarterfinals
(2 each heat advance to Semifinals)
HEAT # 1
1 Danny Harf (FL) 97
2 Daniel Watkins (AUS) 94
3 Ryan Wynne (FL) 90
4 Julz Heaney (UK) 87
5 Chad Reese (AL) 86
6 Gabe Paulson (ID) 83