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VIDEO: Ontario man sets sail on his giant pumpkin

'It floats!': Aiming to break a Guinness World Record today, avid gardener Brent Rouble is attempting to paddle at least 63 kilometres along the St. Marys River and towards Hilton Beach in his giant pumpkin

If you’re not a fan of James and the Giant Peach, then perhaps you’ll appreciate Brent and the Giant Pumpkin.

Local geologist Brent Rouble said a million things would have to go right to break an unusual but challenging Guinness World Record: paddling in a giant pumpkin for more than 62 kilometres.


Having grown regular-sized pumpkins for the past three years in his Boundary Road backyard, the passionate gardener decided to take it up a notch heading into last spring.

“I really wanted to grow a giant pumpkin,” he told SooToday. “I researched it like crazy. After I planted it, I’d work on it pretty much every night from 7-10 between May and October.”

Rouble managed to grow a pumpkin just shy of 900 pounds – smashing his previous record of 88 pounds.


His accomplishment was recognized at the Algoma Farmers Market’s annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off last month as he secured first place. Despite winning the competition, Rouble had bigger goals in mind.

“I saw this article that someone broke the world record for the furthest journey in a giant pumpkin boat,” he explains. “If could grow a pumpkin big enough that I could fit in and paddle, then I wanted to attempt that record.”

“The shape looks like a boat kind of, and the top of it actually looks like a hull,” he adds. “It’s really flat and wide at the bottom.”

After carving out the pumpkin’s insides and cutting a hole through the top, Rouble was joined by family, friends, and several dozen Saultites at the Bellevue Marina on Sunday morning – all of whom anxiously awaited to see if the giant plant would in fact float.


As members with Thrive Tours assisted Rouble and his orange craft into the water, cheers began to erupt around the marina when the pumpkin bobbled and then stabilized.

“It floats!” Rouble exclaimed.

Crossing his fingers tightly for favourable current and wind conditions, Rouble will attempt to paddle to Hilton Beach – a 65-kilometre feat that would guarantee the world record for longest distance travelled in a pumpkin boat.

But it won’t be easy.

“I’ll be kneeling for up to 16 hours in the pumpkin, with my upper body sticking out, while paddling the whole time,” Rouble explains. “It’s going to be tough, but I’m ready.”


The adventurous gardener is joined by Thrive Tours founders Brad Robinson and Amanda Cora, as well as Kyle Scali who is leading a team on his 30-foot boat. They will act as Guinness World Record witnesses and ensure Rouble is safe throughout his journey.


“There’s so much crazy stuff going on in the world,” Rouble says. “I feel like we just need more pumpkins in the news.”

“I’m hoping this can just be an inspiration for kids,” he adds. “If you learn enough, research enough, and if you’re crazy enough – you can do anything. Even if you don’t know if you’ll succeed or not, just try it.”


Readers can track Rouble's progress today by clicking here.

Alex Flood

About the Author: Alex Flood

Alex is a recent graduate from the College of Sports Media where he discovered his passion for reporting and broadcasting
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