World's Top Riders Gearing Up For 2004 Tigé U.S. Open
ABILENE, TEXAS - Tigé Boats is preparing to host the best wakeboarders in the world at the 2004 Tigé U.S. OPEN, which will be held on the 1,000-acre Wailua River State Park on the Wailua River in Kauai, Hawaii, on November 13-14.
The official purse for the Pro Men and Pro Women divisions has been set at $25,000. All 16 finalists in the Pro Men division will receive prize money. Additionally, a Junior Men division has been created for amateurs who are 18-years-old and younger. All amateur and professional wakeboarders are invited to compete. Admission is free to spectators.
The 2004 Tigé U.S. OPEN, which is sanctioned by the American Wakeboard Association, will feature eight invited riders, who will receive a first-round bye and an automatic bid into the finals. After a qualifying round on Saturday, November 13, an additional eight spots will be filled by professionals and amateurs who entered the open field. The remaining 16 wakeboarders after Saturday morning’s round will hit the water again on Saturday afternoon to determine seeding for Sunday’s final. On Sunday, November 14, head-to-head competition begins between the 16 finalists with two riders advancing into a two-man battle for 2004 Tigé U.S. OPEN Champion.
Among the eight riders who received an automatic bid are Parks Bonifay, the current No. 1 ranked rider in the Wakeboard World Cup standings and 2003 and ’04 Pro Wakeboard Tour Champion; Tino Santori, 2002 Tigé U.S. OPEN Champion and ’04 Vans WWA Wakeboard National Champion; Erik Ruck, ’02 Pro Wakeboard Tour Champion; Shawn Watson; and the quartet of Daniel Watkins, Danny Harf, Chad Sharpe and Jeff Weatherall, who round out the top five spots in the Wakeboard World Cup standings.
The ’04 Tigé U.S. OPEN will be the first-ever wakeboarding event filmed in High Definition(HD). Tape-delayed broadcasts of the ’04 Tigé U.S. OPEN will air on December 22 at 4:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 2:00 a.m. during the “Fusion Hour” on /Fox Sports Network/. /Fox Sports Network/ will re-air the event in the spring of ’05. On December 18, /Spike TV/ will broadcast a highlight show featuring the Tigé U.S. OPEN. Additionally, the /Fuel Channel/ will televise the event five times, and the 24-hour action sports channel /Rush TV/ will distribute their shows to over 330 million households in over 100 countries.