Waterski Magazine's 2001
Big Spray Challenge
By Todd Ristorcelli
It was an hour after sunrise. The lake — a solid sheet of glass as some of the world's greatest slalom rippers marveled at the chance of winning the most coveted title in the history of our sport. Beautiful Corner Lake in Orlando, Fla., played host to WaterSki magazine's 2001 Big Spray Challenge. Chris Parrish, Drew Ross and Steve Cockeram would be battling it out for big-spray supremacy on the men's side. And representing the women, Emma Sheers and Sarah Gatty Saunt were prepared to compete in a head-to-head challenge. An event of this magnitude warranted the best judge/referee in the business, and that's why Alejandro Garcia was called to action. After last-minute questions regarding the rules were answered by Alejandro, the competitors anxiously took to the water.
Big Spray Format
World-renowned referee Alejandro Garcia has built his career on the ability to make tough calls under incredible pressure. As you can tell by his diverse background of refereeing and part-time celebrity judging, he was the perfect fit to judge/referee WaterSki magazine's 2001 Big Spray Challenge.
Drew Ross tried to strategize for big spray with a smaller stick (66-inch), but it proved unsuccessful.
Steve Cockeram digs hard for an impressive showing.
Emma Sheers's onside carve gave Sarah a run for her money with this 12-1/2 foot wall.
Five Tips For a Big Spray
- Devour two #3 combos at Taco Bell.
- Ride the ski flat into the turn and then crank it all at once.
- Put 98 percent of your weight on your back foot at the finish of the turn and push like hell.
- The shorter the rope, the harder you'll be able to turn.
- Give it a suicidal slam dunk!
''Well, it feels pretty good. It's been over a year now since I've had a victory and I'm just proud to say that I'm the big spray slalom king right now.'' – Chris Parrish
Sarah nailed this 13-foot wall for the win with a gritty slam dunk at 35 off.
Before the winners could be declared, Alejandro had to go to a slow-motion video review for a final look.
Sarah Gatty Saunt accepts the 14k gold trophy of big spray supremacy.
Parrish gives the boys a champagne shower.