SML's Attempt at World Record Fails

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

smlworld record2FRANKLIN COUNTY - The Smith Mountain Lake's attempt to break the record for the "Most People Floating in a Line" will not be placed in the official world record book. 
"In reviewing your submitted evidence for Most People in a Floating Line, we require further evidence and clarification. In the YouTube video of the submitted attempt, it appears that participants are surrounded by (and surrounding) guide ropes. Even if not physically connected, in the spirit of the record it is important that no one be touching any of these ropes,"  Guinness officials said. 
"Additionally, it appears that some inner tubes may be touching jetskis, which would not be allowed per the guidelines. Finally, a portion of the line appears to be broken in the middle (that is, not connected to the other end on one side). To approve the record per the GWR guidelines, we'll require additional evidence that no one was touching any of the guide ropes, jet skis, and additional high-res photo of the attempt clearly showing a continuous single line of floaters who are not touching anything other than each other."
The effort was organized by the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA in August 2016 as a community event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake.  There were 1259 participants and 1251 remained in the water almost two hours while hundreds of organizers, helicopter and drone videographers and photographers and four judges worked to get the proper documentation to satisfy the Guinness guidelines. 
At the time of the event, the recorded record was 634.  The record has now been updated to The most people in a floating line consists of 2,088 people, achieved at an event organized by Havaianas and Aqeuo (both Australia), in Cottesloe, Australia, on 26 January 2012.
"It took a lot of work to prove this record and we were so close," said SML YMCA branch director Lauren Acker. "Several committee members have expressed that they would like to reattempt this record. Now, I'd like to ask the community! We will work toward a similar event in August of 2018 if there is enough interest," said Acker.
Let the YMCA know your opinion on reattempting this record by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or calling (540)721-9622.

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