Team still guns for pumpkin record


Flying pumpkins

If you want to see pumpkins launched today but don’t want to head to Moab, try the Pumpkin Chunkin’ festival from noon to 2 p.m. today at the east shelter of Canyon View Park. The event is sponsored by the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department.

Launch your jack o’ lanterns for free, or watch others compete with their own launchers.

Pumpkins are available for launching for $1 each.

A team of engineers from Delaware is serious about breaking the Guinness world record for farthest distance for launching a vegetable.

The Big 10 Inch air cannon team was unsuccessful Friday and Saturday in its attempts to break the record during Moab Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival. The world record is 4,491 feet. The competitors on Saturday launched pumpkins about 4,200 feet, using their air cannon.

Because of windy weather and rotting pumpkins, the team will try again today to set a mark for the Guinness Book of World Records, this time also launching Green River melons.

“It would be so great if they won the world record with a Green River melon in the area where it’s grown,” said Celia Alario of Moab.

The Delaware team has twice broken the world record for pumpkin chucking, launching pumpkins 4,211 feet in 2005 and 2007, both times at sea level.

Chris Ransier, a registered land surveyor with Souder, Miller & Associates in Grand Junction, said he’s happy to stay on another day to record a potential world record.

“We just need about 300 feet to break the record. They’re saving their good pumpkins for tomorrow,” Ransier said Saturday. “(The group) said if they don’t do it, it’s going to be a long trip home.”

The engineers said Moab was a good place to attempt a record because of the pumpkin festival and the thin air. They said vegetables travel farther at higher altitude and farther still when it’s warmer. The launches today will be from 1 to 3 p.m.

With or without a world record, this weekend’s practice leads up to the World Championship Pumpkin Chuckin’ contest in Delaware, where the team will have another shot at fame.

“What they’ve got going is pretty impressive,” Ransier said. “At first I thought it was kind of quirky. There’s a lot of science involved.”


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