First off the dock this morning were the pros for their opening round of action, where 36 riders looked to stay afloat on Tour and qualify through to the next round of the contest. Only the top three riders from each of the eight heats advanced, sending 24 pros to tomorrowâ€™s Round of 40, where they will be joined by the top 16 riders on Tour, including Aussie phenom Harley Clifford.
â€œQualifiers might only be the first round of the contest, but theyâ€™re just as critical as any other part of the event,â€ said veteran rider Zane Schwenk, who qualified on Tour for his 18th consecutive season. â€œEveryone wants to make the Tour, so the level of riding is super intense right from the get go. Iâ€™m stoked to be able to hang with these guys at 35 years old.â€
Among the other pros advancing onto the Round of 40 from todayâ€™s qualifiers are Texas natives Joey Bradley and Tom Fooshee.
â€œI rode really well today and stuck my tricks, but itâ€™s a long contest and thereâ€™s a ton of talent here,â€ said Bradley. â€œHaving the event in my â€˜backyardâ€™ is great; Iâ€™m very familiar with this lake and feel really comfortable riding here.â€
Bradley, 26, of Arlington, placed second in his heat today, while Fooshee, 25, from New Braunfels finished in third, good enough for both Texans to punch their tickets to tomorrowâ€™s Round of 40.
â€œKeith [Lyman] and Trevor Hansen were both really dialed in today, so finishing behind them in my heat wasnâ€™t so bad,â€ said Fooshee. â€œThe competition only gets more intense from here, so I definitely need to step up my riding if I want to keep going in this contest.â€
Both Texans and the rest of the pros competing in the Round of 40 will hit the water tomorrow, Friday, June 11, from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
In the Jr. Pro Men division, nearly 30 of the top amateur riders hit the water for the Jr. Pro Men qualifiers. Only the top four riders from each of the five heats advanced, narrowing the field of riders down to 20 for tomorrowâ€™s quarterfinals.
Among the 20 quarterfinalists are Canadaâ€™s Raphael Derome, Aussie Jarrod Askew and the American Dan Powers, who each laid down a flawless run during their qualifier today.
The Jr. Pro Menâ€™s division will kick off the festivities in Fort Worth tomorrow, with their quarterfinals beginning at 9 a.m.
The Pro Womenâ€™s division will also hit the water tomorrow for their opening round, beginning at 11 a.m.
In addition to all the action on the water; on land, thereâ€™s plenty of great food; athlete autograph signings; chances to win freebies; and shopping at the most cutting-edge stores for water-sports equipment including boats, wakeboards, wakeskates, sunglasses and the latest in wakeboarding and surfing fashions.
Be sure to pick up your share of $10,000 in free gift cards from Overtonâ€™s, the official water-sports retailer of the King of Wake series. Fans can also register to win a $500 Overtonâ€™s catalog shopping spree.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday is free to the public. Saturdayâ€™s ticketed event runs from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Tickets to Saturdayâ€™s event can be purchased at the gate for $10 (general admission), $5 (ages 6-12) or free (ages 5 and under).
To catch all the high-flying, rail-sliding, water-sports action of the Fort Worth Pro Tour stop on television, tune in to FUEL TV on Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. EST.
For more information on the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, including news, daily schedules, tickets, TV info, photos, videos, athlete bios, results, standings and more, visit www.allisports.com.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour is organized by World Sports & Marketing of Orlando, Fla., and has the support of the following sponsors: MasterCraft, Rockstar Energy Drink, Overtonâ€™s, Indmar, Peavey, Mona Vie, Billabong, Hyperlite, CWB, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, Oakley, Sayiwonâ€™t, Epiphone, WakeBoarding magazine, Fuel TV and Allisports.com.
11 Jun 2010