Barefoot waterski speed record broken – behind an AW119

Barefoot waterski speed record broken – behind an AW119

8-Mar-2011 Source: HeliHub.com

Mexican businessman Fernando Reina Iglesias broke the world speed record for barefoot water skiing on 2nd March, it has emerged.  Towed behind an AgustaWestland AW119 in Acapulco, Reina reached 153mph, breaking the previous record of 135mph set by American skier Scott Pellaton 22 years ago.  Public notary Manlio Favio Pano witnessed the event, helping the event be recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records by corroborating the record-breaking speed.  The record has been dedicated to his hometown of Acapulco as a positive thing for tourism, the town having suffered “bad press” in recent years.

The record is not without local controversy, though.  The subject aircraft, AW119 registered XC-LKX, is owned by the State Government of Guerrero and on this occasion and a number of others recently running up to the record, has been noted flying extremely low over water without floats being fitted.  It is debatable whether an emergency at that level would provide a pilot sufficient time to even deploy floats, had they been fitted.  On another occasion it reportedly hovered low over a beach-side restaurant causing up to 30 parasols and loungers being blown away.  Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo declined to comment at recent questions as to why the helicopter was being used for non-medical activities when it was purchased with funds from the Ministry of Health.

There is a YouTube video of the practice sessions prior to the record event here

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