Fort Lauderdale, Florida (July 19, 2003) – Round three of the South Florida Wakeboard Tour got under way with over 45 contestants from all over Florida and some from as far away as Fort Worth, Texas. Riders thrilled the crowd as they started off the dock onto the water and into the air with all levels of Wakeboarding from Novice to Semi-pro.
The Novice Division took off with a race of more than 15 riders all looking to stand at the top of the winners podium. Patrick Schmidt pulled out a first place win with Colton Miller and John Jeffries at the second and third place spots. The overall tour winners in the Novice Division is not yet determined, with John Jeffries and Colton Miller in 1st and 2nd place with less then 70 points between them. Max Granofsky, Patrick Schmidt, Corey and Sandy Johnson, Scott Schmidt, Steven Lohman, and Morgan Jones all within striking range of receiving hardware with a good showing at the final tour stop on September 20, 2003.
With all the women that rode at tour stop #2 officials were worried that the younger girls would intimidate the women with their superior riding skills, so they give them there own division. The opening of the Girls Division was highlighted with Chloe Merritt's taking first place. Kayla Chojnacki taking second and rookie Julia Hatfield snatching third place. This division is up in the air with all competitors within range of the top three Tour Championship spots.
In the Intermediate Division Wade Kremser increased his tour standing with a first place win and Nick Pacquee coming in second. With a move from novice to intermediate Corey Johnson took third with a nice off-axis spin. This division is a transition from novice to advance with all riders trying keep their foothold in the point standings. This one will only be determined in the final heat at The South Florida Wakeboard Championship at Okeeheelee Park.
Jennifer Hettler took first place and Barrett Perlman second place in the Women’s Division pushing both riders into a tie for first place in the overall tour standings. Christina Lohman walked away with third with Sam Hatfield and Katie Book rounding out the field in forth and fifth. The battle for first will only be decided at tour stop #4 with Barrett Perlman, Jennifer Hettler, and Katie Book all squaring off for the championship.
When the Advanced Division took to the water things got a little more serious, with the boat weighted down and the riders all focused on their runs it was anyones day. It was Victor Benndorf who nailed his run to take first place and David Papandreas stepping up from the intermediate division to clinch second. Kevin Wipplinger held on to third adding more tour points to his first place tour standing. Again this division is up in the air with over six riders that could step it up a notch at the final tour stop and take the title.
The Outlaw Division is truly the division that inspires all the competitors to go bigger and better, with riders as young as 15 years old throwing Tantrums to blind, Whirly Birds, Crow Mobes, Blind 540's, and big air Raley's, this division lets everyone know you don't have to be a pro to throw the big tricks. Todays top honors go to Mike Brady with his first place win, Corey Miner and Weston Cotton in a close second and third. Tour leaders Weston Connton and Mike Brady tie for first should make the final tour stop for this division a must see event.
The Open Division was again dominated by tour leader Rob Mapp who took first place with tricks so big it was like sitting in a theater with 3-D glasses. Evans McDowell came from behind to take second place pushing Derek Dryer into third. The race for tour Champion heats up with Rob Mapp firmly on top and Derek Dryer, Chris Andrews, Evan McDowell, and Tim Clinton all within range of a trip to the podium.
Rob Mapp took first in the Oakley double-up competition with Derek Dryer and Evans McDowell in the second and third spots. All three were rewarded with cool shades and gear provided by Oakley Eyeware for their efforts.
The event was viewed as a major success by all of the participants involved and by Mills Pond Park who graciously assisted in many ways to make the event happen. A huge list of sponsors including Reef, Freestyle, Electric, Spy, Dragon, Smith, Billabong, Fly High, Rip Curl, Cobian, Quiksilver, Screamline, Angel, Roxy, Volcom, Anarchy, Schumacher Automotive, Headhunter and Oakley for the double up competition, provided enough prizes for all winners to walk away with a little swag for their efforts.
Tommy's Surf, Slalom & Guitar, who arranged the event, would like to say thanks to all of the sponsors and people who helped make this possible – you know who you are.