Pittsburgh’s World Record Flotilla

I have been battling a knee problem and had to hesitantly and unhappily decide not to attend the Mohican 100 race this past weekend.  😦  With an unexpected open schedule once I learned about the Venture Outdoors attempt to beat the flotilla world record I was instantly interested to attend!  🙂 I was excited to get my brother and sis-in-law to join the event and we all meet up at the waters edge this past Saturday to join the record books!!

We are there between 9-10am as requested, but the event seemed so well organized we have ample time to hang out, sit and wait for the 11am start time.

They scheduled to close the rivers from 11a-1p for us.  People that owned their own boats could hit the water whenever they wanted.  Everyone else renting a canoe or kayak had to wait until the 11am closure before we could take a dip and join the paddling posse. 

Boat owners parked and dipped in the river at the Mon Wharf.  The boat renters hit the water from in front of Heinz field.  We happily took the plunge and headed to the point with the others.

Once we all started to gather at the point we realized the crazy spring weather had the current pushing us into the point instead of down the Ohio as originally expected.  Concerns the current would push us into the point “during” the record breaking attempt ensued and the Venture Outdoors staffers started spreading the word to move away from the fountain/point.  If it is even questionable that we “anchored” the flotilla during the record attempt we will be disqualified!  Eek!

After some decent efforts we seem to have a legit flotilla rocking out.  My bro Danny, Amanda and I end up on the end closest to the Ohio river.  We can no longer hear the guy on the waters edge with the megaphone and have no idea if the flotilla is a success, how far we are from the point / land and when its over.  There are random waves of hootin’ and hollarin! Oars are up and banging on boat bottoms in excitement!  A small crowd rocked out their own drum trip with their oars and boat banging!  Everyone seemed to be having a great time sharing in the experience together.  As soon as the flotilla started to disperse the skies opened up and a heavy spring rain came pouring down on us.  Like it wasnt already legendary!  I freaking loved it! 

Most of the boats instantly head straight for the shore.  I lay my paddle down and just float.  Taking in the entire scene and experience.  Enjoying the water and beautiful city.. rain and all.  Watching all the boats and oars pull away from me.  The flotilla is quickly history.  The rain stops and the sun made its way back out again.  I can NOT believe we didnt get to see a rainbow.  I was ready and waiting for it!  Shucks.

What started out as major disappointment to miss a favorite race of the season turned into an excited opportunity to join the guinness book.  I cant complain.

I couldnt figure out how to embed the video, so here is a link to a Trib article with a cool video of it (the music reminds me of the movie “When Harry Met Sally”  My fav! 🙂 )  http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4332016001?bctid=90150264001


2 responses to this post.

  1. so cool MJ! wish I could’ve been there. it had to be a little disconcerting to have all those boats so close to you at times.


  2. Posted by MJ on June 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hey Pratt. It was awesome. Definitely like bumper boats out there for a while, but everyone was great about it. Out of around 1800 people there was one canoe of (3) knuckleheads. They all STOOD up the entire time… and I ended up being RIGHT along side them. That was pretty disconcerting. Looking straight up at them waiting for one to take a plunge right on my mellon. Thankfully that never happened. haha.


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