At 92 years and 286 days old, Bob Hutcheson broke the Guinness World Record for oldest male waterskier in the world.
The lifelong Muskoka resident took up the challenge on Bella Lake on July 19, 2019 with witnesses there to attest to his accomplishment.
“There had to be some legal person there and an athletic person and some other witnesses. They had to watch and witness and sign their life away, and I just had to jump in the water and get pulled around by a boat,” Hutcheson said with a hearty laugh.
Now 94, he officially received his Guinness World Record title via a Zoom call on Dec. 16.
“People kept saying, ‘why don’t you break the record?'” he told Doppler this morning. A woman from Huntsville—Edith Murphy—holds the record for oldest female waterskier, Hutcheson noted. She earned her title on Lake Vernon on Aug. 11, 2004 at the age of 90 years and 109 days. “That’s what got us interested. My family kept saying, ‘well, you do that, why don’t you go out? Mainly it was the encouragement of my family rather than needing the glory.”
Hutcheson started waterskiing in 1949 at the age of 23. “We didn’t have powerful enough boats unless they were very expensive, so we used to build our own waterskis,” he said. “We made them wider than normal waterskis, depending on how heavy the person was who was skiing…and we used to splice our own ropes.”
Hutcheson still skis, both on water and snow. He loves powder and heli-skiing, and he spends most winters in the mountains. “I won’t be able to this year,” he said, adding that he fell in love with the mountains at 12 years-old and can’t wait to get back there.
He said that trying to break a Guinness record is a good challenge for anyone to take on. “It keeps you younger to have some job to do whether it’s to learn a computer or go waterskiing or do anything that gets your fancy and just decide to be as good as you can be at it. That’s the wonderful thing that’s kept me alive at my age, always having something to conquer. My kids want me to go heli-skiing next year. They’re going to wait until I’m 95.”
You can see Hutcheson’s title at guinnessworldrecords.com.
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