Monday, November 20, 2017
Outdoors

McCormick's Waterski lures world champion Chris Parrish

RECOMMENDED READING


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

Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17