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snowmobile world record
GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA. -- A tired and shaking Greg Nielsen drove his snowmobile onto dry land this weekend, unofficially smashing the Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled over water on a snow machine.
Mr. Nielsen's global positioning system showed he had covered 94.86 kilometres on the Wapiti River in northwestern Alberta driving a vehicle you would expect to see only in the dead of winter.
"Very happy. Tired, but happy," he said just moments after his landing.
"It was difficult on some of the straightaways. I had to keep it going fast on the rough stuff to keep the water out. I could see the water splashing on that belt and every time I hit the rough stuff I could smell it.
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"I just talked nicely to the sled the whole way and hoped that engine held together."
To break the record, Mr. Nielsen had to travel more than the 69.28 kilometres Kyle Nelson travelled on Cowan Lake in Saskatchewan a year ago.
Mr. Nielsen had planned to travel 69.5 kilometres, but changed his mind and went bigger to try to hold on to the record for a longer time.
He was confident in his Polaris Xtra-10 sled, but not as confident in his body. There were turns, especially toward the end, where he swore he wouldn't be able to hold on any longer.
"I am very sore. I need a nice chair to sit in and a nice cold beer," he said. "You hold your hands for a tight grip for so long. I mean, this one I could work it a little bit, but this hand, the throttle hand, it's probably not going to work right for a day or two."
His wife, Alanna, who filmed the trip from the support boat, admits she was a bit nervous for him.
"I figured he could do it, though, so long as his sled held up and his arms held up."
Jay Stojan, who helped Mr. Nielsen prepare for his record attempt and drove the support boat, said it was an incredible ride.
"That's a hard thing to do. I've been on the river all my life and to stay on a Ski-Doo for that long, I know how hard he was working the corners but he rode it perfect. The sled held in and it was just a matter of enough fuel and enough [video camera] battery time to get it official."
Now the videos, as well as written affidavits, will be submitted to Guinness World Records to see if the feat will be accepted.
wow..just found this...
Ontario man challenges Guinness mark set by GP sledder
By DEREK LOGAN
Herald Tribune staff
World record challenger Greg Nielsen said he is surprised and a little skeptical that a southern Ontario man may have gone further than he did on a Skidoo across water nearly 17 years ago.
On Wednesday, Henry Bieda, 66, of Fenwick, Ont., told a St. Catharines newspaper that on June 9, 1989 at the Welland Rose Festival, he did laps in an old canal for one hour and 42 minutes and racked up a total distance of 162 kilometres - 70 kilometres more than Nielsen did Saturday on the Wapiti River.
Nielsen immediately wanted to contact Bieda and ask him how he was able to do it.
"It doesn't sound right." he said. "If you calculate all the speed he would have to be going to do that, it's not possible. At an hour an half, to do 160 kilometres, you would have to be going over 130 kilometres an hour minimum, or even over that. He would have to be really moving do it."
Nielsen said his average top speed on the Wapiti River was 75.6 km/h. However, Bieda posted on his Skidoo dealership website that the average top speed that day in 1989 was 58.8 miles per hour, or 94.08 km/h.
If it is true, Nielsen said, there should have been some sort of recognition for Bieda.
"I'd like to see how he did it and where he did it," said Nielsen.
Bieda's son, Stephen, said the family and business had on-and-off contact with Guinness World Records over the past 15 years but were unsuccessful in getting his father's achievement recognized.
Although the event was videotaped and covered by local media, Guinness World Records had sent them a letter three months earlier saying there was no category at the time that would officially recognize Bieda's attempt.
In 2000, however, the category was created to recognize the record's first official attempt made by Jani Anttila of Finland.
Since then, attempts to break the record have come up again in the news, said Stephen.
"We had seen this thing crop up many times since then but this one (Nielsen) seems to have gotten more press. I think this warrants contacting Guinness again," he said.
When contacted Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Guinness World Records New York City office said the records department in London will make the final decision on who has the official record.
As it stands, Kyle Nelson, who racked up 69 kilometres on Cowan Lake in Saskatchewan on Sept. 3, 2005, is still the current record holder, she said.
Unfortunately for Bieda, the spokeswoman said Nielsen has a better chance of having his submission accepted by the records department as long as it was submitted in a timely manner and within official guidelines.
As for Bieda, she suggested his best option is to take the challenge again and file a new claim to Guinness World Records.
Nielsen, a licensed mechanic, said he is collecting all his documents, videotapes, and witness statements and will be sending them to Guinness World Records next week.
Next summer, he plans to make two more world record attempts including travelling over water on a Skidoo with a passenger (there's no record yet) and for the longest jump on water with a snowmobile, which is currently 48 feet.