The father, son duo of Parnell Pinette and Conley Pinette may want to stock up on duct tape for next year’s water skiing season.
After all, it helped Parnell win an overall bronze medal and Conley, 12, win an overall gold medal at the 2012 Pan Am Water Ski Championships.
The Pinettes just wrapped up competition at the event in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. from Sept. 10-16, representing Team Canada against nine countries from North, Central and South America, along with some of the best 150 water skiers in the world.
“I ended up tearing my binding as I was getting ready to go in the water [for the jump event] and panic mode set in,” Parnell said. “You only get three minutes and then you’re disqualified. The [Canadian] coach came over and we duct taped the boot on and I went out there and ended up setting a B.C. record. The coach offered to fix the binding because that jump qualified me for the final and I told him no way.
“I said let’s duct tape it again. I went out there and broke the B.C. record again in the final and that ended up winning me the bronze medal. It was the best I’ve ever jumped.”
Conley, too, needed a hastily-performed duct tape job during one of his qualifying trick runs.
“In his preliminary round to qualify for trick his buckle on his trick binding loosened on his first trick and he ended up being the lowest qualifier getting into the finals,” Parnell said. “We ended up doing a little bit of the duct tape on his binding and he set a huge personal best and that ended up helping him win the overall.
“I think I’m going to have to be buying a lot of duct tape.”
Conley, competing in the U13 division, achieved his personal best score in slalom, tied his personal best jump and his Canadian record at 117 feet for a silver medal and set a new personal best in trick with 4,760 points en route to the overall gold medal.
Conley’s U13 team of four skiers also won a team silver in the overall team competition.
“I was really happy,” Conley said. “I personal bested in almost everything and, for sure, this is one of my best events ever, definitely.”
He said the highlight was competing and meeting people from around the world.
“It was really cool,” he said. “I met some people from Mexico and met a bunch of new people.
“Our team only got beaten by the U.S., but we did really well. They’re a strong team.”
Parnell added the venue the 2012 Pan Am Water Ski Championships were held at was phenomenal, but a bit nerve racking.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was overwhelming walking in there. It gave you goosebumps when you walked into the site, all the different country’s flags and our Canadian flag.
“I didn’t sleep the night before. I’ve never been so nervous. Usually I’m a little bit nervous for Conley but it definitely doubled this time.”
Countries participating included Canada, the U.S., Chile, Peru, Columbia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.