Orlando, FL - The Pro Wakeboard Tour is putting more "pro" back into the tour. Aiming to give the fans a higher quality of riding, the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour presented by Chevrolet and GM Vortec engines has unveiled
a new elite format for 2004.
Following extensive on-site surveys last year and discussions with riders and sponsors, the new "elite" Tour will dramatically improve the fans' and riders' experience by inviting only the "best of the best" to participate. This will also allow the Tour to shorten the day and solidify start and end times, another fan recommendation. The pro men's event will be in the prime time, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., during most weekends.
To draw a more elite field, the Pro Tour will limit the number of entries in each division. The season's only competition with open entry will be April's kickoff stop in Orlando, Florida, where athletes will attempt to qualify for future slots.
After Orlando, invitations to compete at each event will be extended to only those in the top 40 pro men and top 20 pro women on the Indmar Pro Tour standings, the top 20 wakeskaters according to the Sea Doo Pro Wakeskate ranking, and the top 20 junior men in the MasterCraft Junior X Series. If any of those riders don't accept their invitation, the Tour will select the next rider on the respective list.
"We want to put wakeboarding in the best possible light," says Chris Bischoff, the Tour's competition director. "With the growth of the sport over the last couple of years, it has now become necessary to go to an elite format. We want fans to come to the Pro Wakeboard Tour and see the best athletes in the world."
"We realize we have an obligation to two different groups: the fans and the athletes," says Tour Vice President Terry Dorner. "With the best athletes on the water, the competition level will rise, pushing the sport to the next level, and the fans will get the best show."
In addition to the Orlando stop, the 2004 Pro Wakeboard Tour will hold events in Fort Worth, Texas; Reno, Nevada; Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada; and Irvine, California.
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: SeaDoo watercraft, Perfect Pass, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Gator Boards, CWB, Jobe, Double-up, Blindside, JoyRide, Cassette Wakeskates, 484 Wakeskates, Billabong, Reef, Body Glove, UGP, Epiphone Guitars, OJ Props, Chipper Beef Jerky, Bare Wetsuits, buywake.com, Love Sac, Capix Helmets, Indo Boards, One Percent Designs and Barts Water Sports.