Monday, June 7, 2010 Largest kayak and canoe flotilla -
'Paddle at the Point' sets world record
PITTSBURGH, PA, USA -- More than 1,700 canoeists
and kayakers converged on the confluence of Pittsburgh's three
rivers to float toghether for 30 seconds, during 'Paddle
at the Point', an event sponsored by Venture
Outdoors - setting the new world record for the Largest
kayak and canoe flotilla.
Participants braved heavy downpours
to gather in the Allegheny River off Pittsburgh's Point State
Park and joined hands for the required time of 30 seconds
and then raised their paddles aloft in celebration.
"That's the spirit of Pittsburgh.
As I was traveling down here, I saw thousands of kayaks and
canoes in there already and we did it an hour early too; so,
kudos to Pittsburgh," said Mayor Ravenstahl.
Kayaks of all varieties were represented
- from hard plastic expedition, whitewater, flatwater and
ocean kayaks to handmade vessels of pine and other types of
wood. Canoes also were well-represented, including some made
of wood that seemed more artwork than boat.
The previous Guinness world record
for the Largest
kayak and canoe flotilla was 1,104 set in 2008 by
the Inlet Area Business Association in upstate New York. Cleveland
held the world record for seven years before that with 776
Pittsburgh's exact number could be
available within a few days, said Cara Rufenacht of Venture
Outdoors, the local nonprofit that organized "Paddle at the
Point" to help celebrate World Environment Day.
Lou DeVito, Venture
Outdoors operations director, said the organization
wanted to set the record Saturday on United Nations' World
Environment Day. He hoped the event would raise awareness
about recreational uses of Pittsburgh's waters.
"We thought the rain was going to deter
a lot of people," he said. "But they all came out in their
Most of the boaters were from southwestern
Pennsylvania, but many came from other areas, including West
Virginia, New Jersey, Virginia and other parts of Pennsylvania.
Some people brought their dogs, and at least one man brought
A helicopter was aloft to take aerial
photos -- "the nail in the coffin" of the record-breaking
attempt, Mr. DeVito said -- but its crew missed the flotilla,
which began to disperse after the downpour soaked the participants.