The action continued in Fort Worth today, as the top professional wakeboarders in the world hit the waters of Lake Moser at Texas MasterCraft for day two of the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour. Riders in the Pro Men and Jr. Pro Men divisions continued with their second rounds of action, while the Pro Women kicked off the competition with their semifinals.
In the Pro Men’s division, two of the youngest standouts on tour — 18-year-old Bob Soven and 16-year-old Harley Clifford faced off in the same heat for the first time on the Pro Wakeboard Tour since competing on the amateur level in 2008.
“We used to compete in Juniors together, but competing on the Pro Tour is a whole other level riding,” Soven says. “The heats are stacked now and with a guy like Harley to worry about, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You just know that you can’t mess up.”
Clifford and Soven, who won the 2009 Pro Tour and Jr. Pro Tour respectively, rode in the 10th and final heat of the day, placing in the top two of their four-man heat. Clifford won the heat with a score of 83.33, beating out Soven’s score of 73.33.
“Bob just kills out there and definitely keeps me on my toes,” Clifford says. “It could have gone either way today, but I just happen to come out on top.”
Both young guns will advance onto tomorrow’s quarterfinals, where they will be joined by 18 other pros. The Pro Men kick off tomorrow’s festivities at 12 noon.
With only one round to ride before their finals, all eyes were on the Pro Women’s division today to see which female standouts would make the cut.
The first heat of semifinalists saw the U.K.’s Nicola Butler, Aussie Amber Wing and Anna Hajek take the top three spots, respectively, in the six-woman heat.
The second heat, unfortunately, witnessed a scary moment on the water today, when wakeboarding icon Dallas Friday suffered what appeared to be a knee injury to her right leg upon landing the final trick of her run — a tantrum to blind. Friday was immediately taken to a local area hospital for medical care.
Despite her injury, Friday won her heat today, but will likely not participate in tomorrow’s finals. Hayley Smith and Raimi Merritt finished behind Friday to advance in the contest.
The Pro Women’s finals will take place at 6 p.m. as part of the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour’s new Main Event.
In the Jr. Pro Men’s division, 20 amateur rippers hit the water for their quarterfinal round, competing in five heats of four. Only the top two riders from each heat advanced, narrowing the field of riders down to 10 for tomorrow’s semifinals.
Among the 10 semifinalists is Kyle Evans, who posted a perfect score of 100 points during his quarterfinal run today. Current Tour leader Nick Galotifore also advanced past today’s quarterfinals, winning his heat with a score of 98.00.
The MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour will wrap up in Fort Worth on Saturday, June 12, with ticketed event running from noon to 8 p.m. Tickets 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.