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  • Baller
I've always found it almost disheartening how records such as Freddy's and Nate's are not more widely recognized in the world of sports. Obviously 3 event isn't popular with the population at large, but these records are absolute amazing feats of human achievement and athleticism.
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  • Baller


Something else. When I first water skied, the record was UNDER 100 feet. Yup, that

was the Mens record. This is a link to a video/film of Alfredo Mendoza going a record

99 feet the same year that the first jumps over 100 feet at the 1954 Nationals on my lake in Laconia, NH:


Hard to tell how much of a cut he was taking at it. The jumps start around 27 seconds

into it, after some Cypress Gardens show footage.


Didn't see the 1954 Nats., since my parents had sent me away to camp.


So, I didn't see 100, but did watch the 1959 Nationals on the same site, to see the

record tied at 142' by Mike Osborn.


In a strange paradox, I did see the first 200+ jump by Glenn Thurlow, some 10,000 miles

from home. I was an invited official for that event.


In the Water Skier, there would be articles from time to time trying to figure out

what the maximum possible distance could be, during the 60's and maybe '70's. I need

to go research those articles. Freddy's distance is far more than even the highest

estimates. Of course the articles were from the days of wooden skis, etc.

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  • Baller


Note that the slalom skiing was done with a 2-handle rope, which was used to

"take up the slack" when you turned back. And, also note the "flush" in the course.

You snow skiers would know what I mean by "flush". Larry Brown wrote several

articles for the Water Skier about slalom. One was about the "Random Slalom

Course", another about 2-ski slalom, and another one very critical of the rules

move to 36 mph for Men vs. 34. One of these days, I need to get over to the Hall

of Fame and look up these articles, and maybe get them scanned in so they

can be posted online.


One of Larry's proposed rules for the random slalom course is that the Chief Judge

of the tournament needed to be able to run it at some speed to OK it. Probably a

good thing that it never caught on for tournaments, or I would have been out of

a course surveying job.

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  • Baller

Referring to Shane's post above. Same deal with Wayne Grimditch in his prime. Think

his first Marine World was 1975. Marine World then had plenty of qualifying

rounds, and maybe 3 tournament rounds. The event was early June, and many of

the competitors had barely had any practice by then, so the qualifying rounds served

that need. In the tournament rounds, Wayne would be the top seed, take one jump

that was the best of all, and then come in to save himself.


One concern at the 1975 tournament was what if Wayne broke the World Record, which

was then 169'. Since it was 5 1/2 jumping and whip-style boat. He didn't quite, but

he was close. At the Masters later on that year, he went 180'.

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  • Baller
I’ve been thinking for years that Freddy may be the best athlete on the planet. What he and a handful of other jumpers can do demands the utmost respect from any sports enthusiast.
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  • Baller

They had monkeys and rhinos in the background. But at one event, perhaps the first

that I went to, a lion got loose and attacked a girl in the picnic area across. She survived,

and I believe that she later went on to work at the park. The skiers went over there en masse,

with skis, etc, anything to make noise and use as a weapon, and drove the lion away.

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