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Why a World Record?

What is the appeal of being the best in an arbitrary contest like breaking a world record? It’s not being immortalized in the Guinness Book of Records which is now over 60 years old. It’s that it is an accomplishment in its own right and an accomplishment in a conventional way. If River Action can break the record of the largest floatilla of canoes and kayaks at Floatzilla this year with 3,151 boats. we would top the record made in Inlet, NY, in 2018 on one of the Finger Lakes there. That clearly is a measurable accomplishment.

This year, on August 19, we will commemorate our fourteenth year of attempting it; should we give up? Are we so far from the top (we had 1,650 registered last year) that we’ve lost interest? Not close enough? The fact is, we are # 2. That’s not far from #1, and we have become the largest paddling event on the Mississippi River.

No, we don’t give up because it is hard. We stay the course because breaking a world record might get us there. What is our overreaching goal? It is to see more recreational boating on the river, more outfitters in the Quad Cities, more ADA accessible launches, more accessible backwaters, and more beaches making recreation more available to all.

These intangibles are harder to measure, for sure. How can you measure a great sense of achievement, or the increased feeling of belonging to a winning team, or the connectedness and unity we would feel being a part of a huge collaboration made up of the Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, city parks departments, Iowa and Illinois DNR’s., and thousands of happy paddlers? How can you measure the sense of well-being and exhilaration from a challenging physical activity?

Every year, Floatzilla has been promoting paddling, clean water, stewardship, and collaboration; we just need to find a unique niche to achieve the larger goals and set apart our brand from other cities on the Mississippi.

To do that, we must be recognized. That would be the result of breaking a world record, and why, in 2023, we are going for it.