When Lee Heart, 42, West Jordan, attended the Pepsi Cola company picnic at Raging Waters, he never suspected a trip down the water slide would take him to Wildwood, N.J.
As a joke, Heart sped down the Slippery Serpent slide and was amazed to find he had the qualifying time for the day. Then competing against 200 other daily winners, he traveled about 324 feet in 11.71 seconds - beating Scott Henkel, a former Raging Waters employee, with a time of 11.92 seconds.For his quick slide, Heart received a compact disc player, a trip to the Atlantic Coast Boardwalk on Cape May in New Jersey for the National Water-slide Speed Competition and a Raging Waters 1991 season pass.
With only one heel and both shoulder blades touching the serpentine-type slide flume and hands extended above his head, Heart slid his way into the national champion position Sept 8. His winning style gained him $450 and a chance to defend the title next year. Silver-dollar-size bruises on each shoulder blade also rewarded his efforts.
Heart said he was the oldest competitor at the national competition, and most of the others practiced speed sliding regularly. His winning time was 17.73 seconds with only one other competitor hitting below the 18 second mark.
And to what does Heart contribute his speed?
"My aerodynamic stomach," Heart joked. "I have no idea. It's just one of those dumb things that happened."