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pumpkin record

Missouri man breaks world record by paddling 38 miles downriver in pumpkin

A Missouri man has broken the world record for the longest voyage by pumpkin boat. Steve Keuny paddled 38 miles down the Missouri River inside a 1,293-pound pumpkin.

Keuny left Lewis and Clark Park at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers in Kansas City at sunrise Monday, undaunted at the helm of a giant hollow pumpkin. “It may take all day or it may be over in five minutes,” he said, according to the “New York Post,” “I’m just a guy with a pumpkin and a whimsical sense of adventure out to have fun.”

Armed with a set of kayak paddles and some sandbags for added stability, Keuny rowed and drifted in the pitching pumpkin for 11 hours until he arrived safely at Napoleon, Mo., beating the previous record set by Duane Hansen last year by about half a mile and nearly 500 pounds.

Kueny spent all summer growing the great pumpkin in his garden, just one of several giant pumpkins he’s reared there since picking up the hobby during the pandemic. By the time it was big enough for the voyage, Huckle Berry measured 13 feet, 6 inches in circumference, and was about 8 inches thick all around. It took 45 minutes to scoop out all the seeds, and Keuny didn’t even take it for a test ride before he made his record attempt.

“We test floated it before we carved it so we would know which end wanted to be up,” he said. “Once we figured that out, we marked it, made the hole at the center.”.

When he finally did climb inside, it was cramped, cold and more than a little slimy, Keuny reported. He was joined by kayakers from the Paddle KC Club, who brought along spare paddles and helped ensure “we’re doing something very silly very safely.”

“We’ve checked the water temperature, the speed of the water,” club manager Christy Kurtz said. “We have contingency plans, we know when the barges are coming and we have all the different ramp access points marked out. This is one of the crazier things that we’ve attempted, but we’re out here paddling all the time.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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