Orlando, Florida (October 4, 2003) - As the 2003 Season comes to a close at the Mountain Dew WWA Wakeboard World Championship, final stop in the 2003 Vans Triple Crown of Wakeboarding™ Series, the worlds can decide just who is the top rider of the year.
Last year, Erik Ruck capped a great season with the world championship. On Saturday at Orlando WaterSports Complex the top riders in the world were out with something to prove to earn top honors for the 2003 season.
The top three riders in the Built Ford Tough WWA Wakeboard Nationals, Danny Harf, Shawn Watson and Parks Bonifay were all in action, and they didn't disappoint, each reaching the semifinal rounds to be held on Sunday.
Watson, runner-up in the nationals, and a two time winner on the Pro Wakeboard Tour in 2003, made his mark in the Quarterfinals, winning the first heat and uncorking a toeside and heelside 720 in his run. Ruck, looking for his first win in 2003 was a strong second in the heat.
Danny Harf was next, taking first in Heat NO. 2 with a run that would have taken most finals. Harf has a great history at Orlando WaterSports Complex, standing on the podium in both of the events at the site in 2002.
Bonifay's day was a bit more interesting. As the last rider off the dock, he seemed be caught off guard, making last-minute adjustments to his bindings. He just barely earned a transfer spot into Sunday's Semifinals, finishing third in Heat NO. 6 behind Andrew Adkison and Phillip Soven.
Parks and the rest of the pro ranks can wipe the slate clean and start fresh in Sunday's Semifinals.
The Pro Women's ranks weren't that close in 2003. At all but one event only one rider was on top of the podium, Dallas Friday. Only Emily Copeland was able to stop Friday from clean-sweeping the women's field in 2003.
Both Friday and Copeland looked good on Saturday, winning their Women's Semifinal Heats to earn top spots in the Pro Women's Finals on Sunday. Maeghan Major, currently third in the Women's World Cup Standings took the other Semifinal Heat on Saturday.
In the SeaDoo Watercraft Pro Wakeskate Series which will award a new SeaDoo personal watercraft to the series winner on Sunday, the two riders who have pretty much owned the first season of competitive wakeskating, Brian Grubb and Thomas Horrell, did well again winning both of the semifinal heats.
In the Junior Men's Semifinals, the race boils down to the rest of the field trying to knock JD Webb off the top spot. Webb looked great again on Saturday winning his semifinal heat. Canadian Kevin Henshaw will have a say in the final outcome after taking the other Semifinal to earn a spot in the finals.
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™ video game system from Microsoft, Right Guard Xtreme, Fox Sports Net and NBC Sports. The Vans Triple Crown™ 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™ disciplines: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, BMX, Freestyle
Motocross, Surfing and Snowboarding.
Pro Men Quarterfinals
(top 3 each heat advance to Semifinals)
Heat # 1
1 Shawn Watson (FL) 96
2 Erik Ruck (WI) 95
3 Rob Struharik (OH) 91
Ryan Wynne (FL) 88
Matt Lockwood (TX) 84
Chris Law (FL) 83
Julz Heaney (GBR) 79
Heat # 2
1 Danny Harf (FL) 96
2 Jeff Weatherall (NZL) 95
3 Daniel Watkins (AUS) 91
Chris Ramirez (TX) 87
Ricky Gonzales (CA) 85
Ryoji Yanagawa (JPN) 83
Wes Brisco (FL) 79
Heat # 3
1 Josh Sanders (AUS) 97
Shaun Murray (FL) 94
2 Zane Schwenk (FL) 91
3 Gabe Lucas (TX) 86
Gerry Nunn (FL) 85
Nick Heaney (GBR) 84
Mori Kosuke (JPN) 79
Jason MacArthur (NZL) NS