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|I (Almost) Killed Andy Mapple|
|Thursday, 17 December 2009 07:00|
Now there’s a headline that needs explaining.
It was years ago, during a test of a Ski Nautique for Boating magazine. I had just finished pulling the waterski legend through the slalom course while getting some expert driving instruction from a Nautique employee, when I thought my teacher told me to cut the throttle and turn hard left. I did, only to see Mapple in my sights. He had cut far outside the wake on the left side as well, so as I cranked the nimble Nautique around, I almost made him into a hood ornament.
That wouldn’t have been too good for the resume…
He didn’t seem too fazed by it, but my heart was certainly beating a little faster than normal. Soon, we were heading back through the course once again, him casually cranking through the buoys, me trying not to tempt fate yet another time.
Why the story? Because I was recently reminded just what a stud Mapple is. Retired since 2005, the 47-year-old Mapple recently ran 41 off at 36 mph on an O’Brien 67 Elite slalom ski at Ski Paradise in Acapulco, Mexico. For those of you who don’t speak ski, slalom competitions separate the good from the great by shortening the standard 75-foot towrope length. That means Mapple was on a line only 34′ long as he successfully negotiated all six buoys in the slalom course.
He’s still a legend. I’m really glad I didn’t kill him.