Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 22, 2013

It's official! Suttons Bay Floatilla2 is biggest

BY LORAINE ANDERSON landerson@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — SUTTONS BAY — It took three months, but Guinness World Records officials finally confirmed that Suttons Bay Floatilla2 set a new world record for “Largest Raft of Canoes and Kayaks” during a summer event.

Friendly flotilla rival, Inlet, N.Y, already plans a challenge event next fall.

Guinness officially certified Suttons Bay’s Aug. 31 record at 2,099, which is 197 more than Inlet’s 2011 record of 1,902 kayaks and canoes. Concerns were raised in August that Suttons Bay’s massive raft might have drifted too close to an unattended, moored power boat, causing some canoes and kayaks to touch it. That would have disqualified those boats. Guinness’ review of aerial photographs indicated that was not so.

Guinness officials notified Floatilla organizer Kate Thornhill on Wednesday that Suttons Bay held the new world record.

The Floatilla raised $50,000 for the financially strapped Suttons Bay Public Schools, which organized a cadre of more than 200 volunteer students, parents and others to staff the community event. Organizers already are planning a commemorative T-shirt that includes an aerial photo of the this year’s colorful raft.

Details on cost and how to order one should be on the Floatilla’s website by next week, said LeeAnn Eustice, school business manager.

“Now, were just waiting for someone to break our record so we can do it again,” Eustice said.

It didn’t take Inlet, N.Y. event organizers long to respond. The Kiwanis Club of the Central Adirondacks and the One Square Mile of Hope, which sponsored Inlet’s 2011 event, said Thursday they agreed to partner on an effort to break Suttons Bay’s record.

Thornhill, who got the original idea for the first Suttons Bay Floatilla fundraiser in 2012 from the Inlet event, already plans to participate.

She said it was still too early to know if Suttons Bay will have some kind of school fundraising event in 2014.

“We are not going to try to beat our own record, but it’s possible we’ll try something else,” she said.