After Chris Parrish ran an apparent world-record 2 at 43 off back in June, he posed with a big cardboard check for $25,000 from MasterCraft and an even bigger smile. Then in mid-August, the International Water Ski Federation denied the record, citing boat deviation. That wiped away both the 25 grand and the smile. But Parrish wasn't letting go of that very valuable piece of cardboard without a fight. On Aug. 28 at Trophy Lakes, he ran 1 ½ at 43 off, besting his previous record of 1 1/4 at 43 off set in May and laying claim (again) to that check – pending approval, of course.
Where were you when you found out your 2 at 43 off was denied?
I found out in China [at the World Championships]. There was a boat deviation on the sixth buoy at 41. I think a wind gust got them or I pulled the boat over. Something happened at that one buoy where the boat was just too far over, which was kind of sad. I was definitely disappointed because there was $25,000 on the line and that's a lot of money for a skier. I just thought, “You know, that's OK because I can go back and do it again.”
What happened to the check?
Kim Bryant of Trophy Lakes said, “Just keep it because you know you're going to do it again anyway.” As long as this one passes and no one else breaks it, I'll get the check.
What was your mindset going into your Aug. 28 run?
I didn't really know how I was going to do after having an upset in the Worlds [Parrish finished 14th]. But I knew I was still skiing well, and once I got there and skied the first round I started feeling pretty good. I ran 41 off then half at 43 and almost broke it the first round. And I thought, “Damn, I still got it,” and I went out the third round and broke it.
How did it feel to run 1 ½ at 43 off?
It was huge. I was kind of glad that 2 was denied in a way because 2 is going to hold for a long time. So hopefully next year MasterCraft or somebody else is going to put up another $25,000 so I'll be able to go out there and get another half again.
So did you intentionally hold back this time?
Yeah, I definitely could've gone back to the wakes. I actually cut away from the wakes so I wouldn't get 2. I'm just trying to play my cards right.
When will you find out if this one is approved?
Well, they had some extra tech controllers there, and they also had this computer that they can kind of go through all the boat passes and get a good look and see if they're going to pass or not. So this one looks really good, but they've still got to send it off to IWSF to the tech committee and have it approved and we'll go from there. I feel a little bit better about this one though.