Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Outdoors

McCormick's Waterski lures world champion Chris Parrish

DOVER — Two @43 off.

If you are like most residents here, you need a bit more information to help understand the significance of this world record.

On the other hand, if you frequent McCormick's Waterski, Wakeboard and Cable Park, you might be quicker to recognize Chris Parrish's best slalom run from 2010, besting his previous world record of 1 ½ @43 off that stood for five years.

For those not up on water ski lingo, it means Parrish was able to round two buoys with 43 feet removed from the standard slalom 75-foot tow rope.

Parrish, 34, a three-time world record holder, two-time masters champion and four-time Moomba Masters (Australian) champion, recently moved from his native Orlando in part to train three to four times a week at McCormick's, a waterskiing mecca that opened in 1976.

The move will allow Parrish to train with childhood friend Michael McCormick, 39, owner and head coach.

Over the years, Parrish made numerous visits to McCormick Park at Kingsway Avenue and Muck Pond Road north of Interstate 4. He watched McCormick, who is 5 years older, compete in tournaments as a youth and train intermittently with McCormick as a pro.

Now the skier, who has been ranked No. 1 in the world numerous times since he was 19, is happy to be mentored by McCormick more frequently.

"He's an unbelievable coach with so much knowledge," Parrish said. "He keeps it simple and traditional and doesn't try to change the skier, but rather make the skier better."

Born in Destin and destined to be great on the water since he began skiing at 2 and competing at 7, Parrish is dubbed "the Tower" because his 6-foot-5 frame gives him a physical advantage over most skiers. That's part of the reason he and McCormick think there's another memorable run in his future.

"I think I can get him to break the world record again," said McCormick, who has coached for 27 years and included 10 professionals and youths of all ages among his students over the years.

McCormick also competes and recently won a pair of silver medals at the 2012 World 35+ Water Ski Championships in Mexico.

Both credit the facilities at McCormick park for some of their successes. The park features a boat lake — where Parrish trains — a cable lake that was added in 2008, a "Lil Bro" lake for beginners and a pro shop replete with rental equipment. Another lake is tentatively scheduled for development on a 35-acre plot of land that could become a wider and deeper hybrid cable/boat lake.

"It's one of the best. The vibe is good out there," said Parrish, who now resides in Odessa "His lake is so protected. Try to find another place to ski when the wind is blowing."

For now, it's two @43 off, but maybe you should prepare to hear about 2 ½ @43 off.

"I'm a very competitive guy," Parrish said. "What's so cool about our sport and the entire industry is that there is always room to get better."

Comments

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