Orlando, FL – The 2005 MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour opened its 2005 season with a new head-to-head format for the finals, and it proved to be a winning change for 15-year Phillip Soven. The Longwood, Florida rider took the men's title beating the #3, #4 and the #7 seeds in the head-to-head finals.
For the first time, the Pro Tour took the final eight riders and put them in a bracketed system where the final champion would have to beat three riders head-to-head to win the championship.
Soven defeated Danny Harf and Chad Sharpe before beating Australia's Josh Sanders in the two-man final match up to take the lead on the Indmar Performance Award season points chase.
"I was really confident with my riding this weekend," said Soven. "The head-to-head match ups set up well, because I was the second rider in the elite eight and final four, so the pressure was on the first rider. Then in the final, I set the pace by knowing what Josh had the capability to throw."
Also in head-to-head competition in the Pro Women division, Dallas Friday remained the best rider in the world for the women. She easily beat Melissa Marquardt in the final 83.33 to 53.33. In wakeskating, Brandon Thomas upset defending Tour champion Phillip Basino 70.00 to 56.67 to get a leg up on the race for 2005 championship.
In the junior men's division, Jeff House took the victory with a score of 71.22. Canadian Aaron Rathy who won the World Championship at this site last year finished second with a 66.67.
The next stop for the Pro Wakeboard Tour is Ft. Worth, Texas May 21-22. For more information, go to www.prowakeboardtour.com.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour is a five-event circuit organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Florida. Powered by Indmar Marine Engines, the Pro Tour has the support of the following: Sea-Doo watercraft, Verizon Wireless, Perfect Pass, Hyperlite, Infinity Marine Audio, Toyo Tires, KMC Wheels, Liquid Force, Gator Boards, CWB, J-Star, O'Brien, Double-Up, Billabong, Oakley, Reef, Body Glove, UGP, Epiphone Guitars, Buywake.com, Love Sac, Capix Helmets, Indo Boards, Execute, Mikker.com, WakeWorld.com, Wakeboarder.com, Monster Towers, Say I Won't, Ten-80 and One Percent Design.
Wake Boarding, published by World Publications, is the official magazine of the Pro Wakeboard Tour. Wake Boarding is the definitive source on all things wakeboarding, with expert coverage of professional instruction, gear, boats and the latest news.
Pro Men Head-to-Head Finals
1. Phillip Soven 97.50
2. Josh Sanders 92.50
(3rd place: Daniel Watkins)
Josh Sanders beat Daniel Watkins 97.00 – to- 93.00
Phillip Soven beat Chad Sharpe 100.00 – to – 90.00
Chad Sharpe beat Collin Harrington 97.50 – to – 92.50