Ft. Worth, TX - It's not often that you get to see Darin Shapiro for free anymore. Shapiro, qualifying in the pro men's division of the Vans Wakeboarding Pro, the first event of the 2003 Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding season, found himself in a strange position at Fort Worth's Marine Creek -- riding on a Friday.
Usually Shapiro qualifies his way into Saturday's quarterfinals by virtue of his placement in previous events. The defending Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding series champion and Vans Wakeboarding Pro Champion missed the deadline to signup for the event, thus losing his protected spot in the quarterfinals. So, he had to do some work on Friday.
No problem, Shapiro, the last rider off the dock won his heat, and earned a place in the quarterfinals. Shapiro wasn't the only top pro to forget to register. Shawn Watson the defending Built Ford Tough WWA Wakeboard National Champion who won last year's event in Ft. Worth, also forgot the entry and qualified instead on Friday, winning his heat.
Four Texans also found the waters of Marine Creek friendly on Friday to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. Joey Arcisz, Joey Bradley, Matt Lockwood and Brian Sasser will represent the Lone Star State this weekend to fight for the Vans Wakeboarding Pro's $50,000 prize purse.
Also on the water at Marine Creek this weekend is the debut of the SeaDoo Pro Wakeskate Tour as part of the Vans Triple Crown Series. Aaron Reed and Brian Grubb took first place in their heats to qualify for Saturday's semifinals.
In the Junior Men's division, Bryan Chambers was the lone Texan to move into the semifinals on the day. Chambers finished second in Heat #6 behind 2003 Junior X Series Champion Derek Grasman.
The Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding* and the Vans Wakeboard Pro presented by Ford Trucks and Mountain Dew are made possible through the support of the Xbox(tm) video game system from Microsoft, Right Guard Xtreme, Fox Sports Net and NBC Sports. The Vans Triple Crown(tm) Series features the world's top athletes participating in premier venues throughout North America for the top prize purse in each of six Core Sports(tm) disciplines: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, BMX, Freestyle Motocross, Surfing and Snowboarding.
Pro Men Qualifying
(Top 4 each heat advance to Quarterfinals)
HEAT # 1
1 Andrew Adkison (FL) 97
2 Zane Schwenk (FL) 93
3 Keith Lyman (FL) 90
4 Matt Lockwood (TX) 89
Chad Reese (AL) 87
J J Bauman (AR) 82
HEAT # 2
1 Ricky Gonzales (CA) 96
2 Brian Sasser (TX) 91
3 Randy Harris (CA) 91
4 Brian Francis (AZ) 89
Billy Garcia (TX) 88
Loren Levine (WI) NS