There was no hesitation in Karli Pickney’s voice.
“Go big or go home,” the University of South Florida student said as she readied herself for her turn on the skis.
Pickney is one of 250 people from around the world who have traveled to Winter Haven this week to compete in the Chain of Records 2017 event. Water skiers hope to break 41 world records on local lakes this weekend.
“This is as big as it gets in water skiing,” said Eric Gran.
Practice runs began on Tuesday and records began falling on Wednesday. Geno Yauchler set a new world mark with 69 consecutive front flips off a hydrofoil Wednesday morning.
“It was pretty impressive,” Bill Bradstreet said while watching the action from a neighboring boat.
It’s just the first of dozens of record attempts for a group that knows all about setting new marks.
“We were sitting at the bar one day and we were like, it’s be cool to do some really good things,” joked Yauchler, “Let’s do like 5 or 10 world records for water skiing then that turned into 15 or 20.
“The next thing you know we had over 40 records.”
The group of skiers, some from as far away as Australia and Germany, set 26 records in 2015. After taking a year off in 2016, the skiers came together again this spring to attempt to snap over 40 records, 11 of which will qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records.
“Why?” asked Yauchler. “We thought it’d be cool.”
To watch the action, visit chainofrecords.com. Skiing will take place through Sunday, April 23.