Indianapolis, Indiana (August 19, 2003) - The Built Ford Tough WWA Wakeboard National Championships, the second event in the Vans Triple Crown TM of Wakeboarding Series, will splash down at the Precedent in Indianapolis
The Wakeboard Nationals, presented by Mountain Dew and Vans, represent the pinnacle of the sport, bringing together the top competitors from around the world. All age groups are represented in the amateur divisions, but the pro division draws the most attention.
The pro men and women will be competing behind the Super Air Nautique towboat, the exclusive towboat of the National and World Championships, for $50,000 in cash for the weekend, part of the $150,000 in prize purse for the three events in the Vans Triple Crown series.
In addition to the weekend's purse, pro riders compete for standings in the Vans Triple Crown series. In 2003, the Vans Triple Crown pro men's series champion will be awarded a new Ford Ranger FX4. The pro wakeskaters will compete in the SeaDoo watercraft Pro Wakeskate Series pulled behind a Sea Doo. The top wakeskater across the Triple Crown will win a new SeaDoo at the end of the season. The pro women will also receive a new SeaDoo watercraft for the winner of the Vans Triple Crown series.
The event will be nationally televised in a one-hour show broadcast on NBC Sports, September 27 at 5 p.m.
Wakeboarding fans that tune-in to NBC will be treated to the world's top competitors such as Shawn Watson, Darin Shapiro and Shaun Murray. These three riders have dominated the sport of wakeboarding since the beginning, earning the admiration of fans around the world through countless television broadcasts, newspaper and magazine features and video games modeled after them. For the women, Emily Copeland, Dallas Friday and Tara Hamilton rule the pro ranks.
Watson and Friday currently hold the men's and women's pro National Championships, earning the distinction in 2002. To continue their dominance in 2003, they must tackle one of the most challenging courses on the water. The Vans Triple Crown championship course brings out the best in pro riders by placing intimidating apparatus out on the course for riders to hit and slide.
Wakeboarding is much like skateboarding or snowboarding and Vans Triple Crown events make a nod to Vans' skate heritage by turning the lake at the Precedent into a floating skatepark. Kickers, short ramps that send wakeboarders as high as 20 feet in the air, dot the water. Rails reaching 70 feet invite riders to slide their way to victory.
The most intimidating piece of apparatus on the water is the Ford Ranger Cage. The Cage is a 50-foot long, 15-foot high slider that challenges the riders to slide across a Ford Ranger FX4 without landing on it.
The riders who earn top honors in the pro men and women's divisions will put together a run that combines excellent riding on the apparatus in addition to great tricks off the wake created by the CorrectCraft Super Air Nautique towboat.
The sport of wakeboarding has grown tremendously over the last ten years, making it the fastest growing sport on the water with nearly 3 million participants. The National Championships draw the top competitors from around the world in 13 divisions ranging in age from 8 to 50.
The Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding, the largest wakeboarding series in the sport, consists of three championship-caliber events:
Vans Wakeboard Pro April 24-27 FSN - June 12 / 4 PM Local (Fort Worth, TX)
Built Ford Tough WWA Wakeboard Nationals August 21-24 NBC - Sept. 27 / 5:00 PM EDT (Indianapolis, IN)
Mountain Dew WWA Wakeboard Worlds October 3-5 FSN - Nov. 20 / 4 PM Local (Orlando, FL)
The Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding* and the Built Ford Tough WWA Wakeboard Nationals presented by Mountain Dew and Vans 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.