Chuck Gleason, president and owner of Eagle Sports, came up with the idea of hosting a slalom record tournament for the current slalom world record holders or those who have held the world record over the last 12 months. For this year’s first Eagle Sports World Record Challenge, the skiers were Regina Jaquess on the women’s side (world record of 3 at 41 off) and Nate Smith and Chris Parrish on the men’s side (world records of 2 at 43 off).
The event took place on Nov. 2 in Katy, Texas, at Lakes of Katy. Regina ended up taking the Eagle Sports World Record Challenge title against the boys, skiing consistently closer to her world record in all three rounds than Nate or Chris. To catch some of the action of last weekend’s show, click on the video links below and check out what Regina, Chris and Nate had to say about it all. Also check out the edited bonus video of world record holder Nate Smith barefooting and learning an ADV over the boat!
What did you think about the idea behind the event?
Regina: I thought it was a really cool idea. You know Chuck doesn’t water ski. He does it now because he’s into it through the Eagle Sports, but he comes from the barefooting side, and he is a golfer. Those are his first two passions, barefoot and golfing. So he has a really cool perspective as far as what he did for the World Record Challenge. He’s bringing more of an open mind into water skiing compared to everyone else.
Chris: It was first class. Everybody was really nice. Good hospitality, and then we had that big party afterward. It was great.
Nate: I got my butt kicked by a girl! Even I can’t beat her. I knew going into it that it was going to be really tough with the handicap that we had, but I thought it was a really cool tournament.
Do you think this will be an ongoing event?
Regina: Of course he wants to grow his World Record Challenge in the future to where people come in and pay to challenge the world record holders. This was a great start as far as getting the world records and doing a bunch of publicity with the online webcast.
How was it competing against Chris and Nate?
Regina: We had a great time, the three of us. It was pretty cool to see Nate and Chris get along so well. Those two, as competitive as they both are, they are just a trip together. You don’t really see many pro skiers, or in any sport, where two competitors get along so well. I mean they spent the whole week together. They drove from Orlando, Florida, went to Chad’s, skied in Louisiana and then continued to drive to Texas together. That doesn’t normally happen.
How do you and Chris maintain such a good friendship despite being such big competitors?
Nate: Chris was the first guy to ever really come up and talk to me out of all the pro tour guys. We just kind of look at it as when we’re on the water skiing against each other in a tournament, we want to kick each others ass; we want to win; we want to beat each other. The second we get back up on the dock and take our gloves off, its friendly. We’re right there for each other and just there to have a good time.
It was all set up for you guys to break world records. Unfortunately, the conditions didn’t really hold up for you.
Regina: Yes, it was ideally set up for us to break the records, and Chuck was putting up a huge bonus for us. It was a really good event that they put on, but the weather just didn’t hold out for us at all. It was like a 20 mph crosswind — at least. These are the days that I go kitesurfing!
How did the boys react to your win?
Regina: Nate was the first one there greeting me and was just like, “Damn it, I shouldn’t have said anything.” It was like a brother-sister rivalry between us all. It was really a cool event — a unique situation.
Watch the full video of the Eagle Sports World Record Challenge here.
Have you barefooted a lot?
I couldn’t tell you how many times. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve barefoot this year. So it’s not like it was my first time out there. It was my first time ever doing anything stupid like that! I told Chuck I wanted to jump over the boat like Andre [de Villiers]. Parrish didn’t think that I could barefoot, so I wanted to show him.
How was it jumping over the boat?
My biggest concern was that I was going to hit the engine — like broadsiding this thing. I found out how long the rope was as I was doing it, though, and you can’t hit it at all. I don’t want to say that I wasn’t scared, but I didn’t think that it was going to be a big issue. You just have to go for it. If you think about it too long, that’s when you start getting worried.
You think you could land if you tried a couple of times?
The video makes it seem like daylight. It was dark out; I couldn’t see a thing. But, yeah! If you gave me one more chance in the middle of the day, I think I could land it.