• 25th July 2017 - By greg

    I’ve been pouring over maps and the Guinness rules trying to figure out how to solve 2 problems:

    1. I need a large lake to plot a large course without tight turns so I don’t lose distance and speed as I make my way around the turns multiple times an hour. This rules out Glenmore reservoir because it’s just too small, unfortunately. That was one of the reasons my actual distance travelled by counting surveyed laps differed from the GPS distance during the first attempt on Glenmore a couple of weeks ago.
    2. I need a Lake sufficiently protected from wind. This probably rules out 10 km long Whitefish Lake due to it’s size. Typically, at some point during the 24 hour period, there will be wind from the wrong direction and it will kick up some waves, and my speed will slow down too much, and I won’t hit my distance target.

    Here are 2 possible ways of solving these 2 issues:

    Video witness plan

    This involves carefully watching the weather forecast which is only accurate one day in advance. When a next-day forecast looks like winds are coming from a favorable direction to my pre-planned course, and winds are predicted to be low speed, then I could start the record attempt on large Whitefish lake the next morning. However, there is no way I will be able to

    1. set buoys
    2. survey buoys
    3. amass one witness for each corner times 6, 4 hour shifts through 24 hours. That’s potentially more than 12 witnesses depending on how large my course is. And the larger the better.

    It’s a logistical nightmare, and it would al need to be arranged last minute – like the day before an attempt.

    So I figured the only way to accomplish this would be to replace witnesses with a time lapse video taken from the deck of Libby that clearly shows the date, time, and me touching my surveyed dock or buoy points. I’ve looked into using a GoPro with external battery, and it could work.

    I asked Guinness and they said no. They said that video evidence can only be submitted as supporting evidence to actual witnesses. Dang.

    Flexible Course plan

    My next idea was to plan the attempt long enough in advance to enable me to gather my volunteers together, then deal with the wind by shifting my course to different areas of the lake that are sheltered from the current wind direction. I’ve often done this while training on WF lake. I will typically train on the north end of the lake in the morning, then when winds shift direction, move down to the south end for a while. There are shores that are tucked right next to large hills / mountains that are always protected if wind blows from the mountain side.

    Guinness said YES to this idea.

    The problem though, is a large logistical issue. I need to have every dock that I could possibly use as 2 end points in a segment surveyed and measured. Then I would need someone stationed at various parts of the lake reporting back on the water conditions. And I would still require all of these witnesses watching each dock, moving from dock to dock as I shift the course, and also recording exactly what segments I travelled while counting my accumulating distance. And their shifts have to change every 4 hours, and they would need transport across the lake to their dock. And… I would require permission to station an observer on each dock because those docks are private property. This is getting way too complicated.

    One option regarding witnesses is it may be possible to station a single witness on the support boat which would be positioned in the middle of whatever course I’m looping at the time. The boat / witness would move with me as I moved to another course at some other side of the lake. They might be able to see every dock using binoculars, but this might not work that well at night. And watching each and every dock would be a difficult and tedious job! I wouldn’t want to do it, and I wouldn’t want to ask someone to do it!


    So this is where I stand right now… Not sure what to do. I’m just so worn out from planning and asking friends to volunteer… And I don’t have a very big network of friends in Whitefish to call upon. I honesty wish Guinness would allow the video witness idea because I could pretty much just go do it on my own whenever I saw a 24 hour weather window open up. Then, if I’m on record pace by the time the sun goes down, Helen and Theresa could work the night shift to support me through the night. For the day, I could line-up 12 water bottles and 12 power bars along my support dock, and I could probably do the first 12 hours all by myself. If, by sun down, I was off record pace, I would just cancel, go home, and try again another day – no biggie. Just consider it another training day. But… With Guinness requiring an actual person as witness for each dock/buoy turn, this just makes it such a logistical pain.

    Any ideas?

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