On Monday, a Missouri man set a new Guinness World Record by embarking on an 11-hour, 38-mile journey along the Missouri River in a massive 1,208-pound pumpkin boat. Steve Kuney, of Lebanon, Missouri, started his adventure at 7:30 in the morning, departing from Kansas City, and successfully concluded it at 6:18 in the evening in Napoleon.
Reflecting on this remarkable achievement, Kueny shared his thoughts with the local network KCTV, stating, “It takes a lot of planning and also a lot of flying by the seat of your pants. I’m just a guy with a pumpkin and a whimsical sense of adventure out to have fun.” After the remarkable journey, he spoke with USA Today, expressing that he felt “cold, tired, but satisfied with the outcome.”
Pumpkin boat named, ‘HuckleBerry’
Kueny received support from the Paddle KC Paddling Club, along with about six other boats, to ensure that their “silly” adventure was carried out safely. They also assisted in monitoring his progress along the river. In video footage shared by KRCG, Kueny is visibly seated on his pumpkin boat named ‘HuckleBerry,’ paddle in hand, sporting an American flag vest and a camo bucket hat.
“We’re hoping that we might be able to reach 4 1/2 miles an hour. If we float at 3 miles an hour and hit some eddies, it could be up to 12 hours,” said Christy Kurtz, founder and manager of the club. “But we don’t want to be out on the river (after) dark tonight.”
Kueny will submit evidence for verification
Steve Kueny started planning his pumpkin paddling adventure back in February. Moreover, he’s been practicing on the river since he was a teenager. In the coming days, Kueny will send all his evidence, like witness accounts, GPS data, and time records, to Guinness World Records for verification.
Guinness World Records has a team that checks if an attempt was successful. They look at the evidence to see if it’s enough to prove that you really broke the record.
Kueny beats Hansen’s record
This daring accomplishment surpassed the previous record held by Duane Hansen, who navigated the river for over 37 miles in an 846-pound pumpkin in 2022. Kueny is currently in the process of submitting his paperwork to Guinness, who will then verify if he surpassed Hansen’s current record, which stands at 37.5 miles.
“After meeting a previous record holder at a giant pumpkin seminar, I decided that I wanted to try to break the record,” Hansen said at that time, sharing his motivation to set a record. Before Hansen, the title was held by Rick Swenson for his 2018 journey of 25.5 miles.