Taste for odd records? Try blast of pumpkin

It’s not as easy as you might imagine to break the Guinness world record for launching a pumpkin, but a team from Delaware did just that Sunday south of Moab, Utah.

After failed attempts Friday and Saturday, and a little tinkering and lot of patience by the engineers who make up The Big 10 Inch air cannon team, they executed a record-breaking pumpkin launch: 4,623.5 feet.

“Once I told them the distance, their mouths dropped,” said Chris Ransier, a registered land surveyor with Souder, Miller & Associates in Grand Junction who volunteered to record the launch. “I heard it go over my head about 200 feet, and I knew right away it was a winner.”

The team had been in Moab for Saturday’s Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival but decided to stay a day longer in the hopes of breaking the Guinness world record, 4,491 feet.

Team members believed Moab’s altitude, combined with warm weather, would create less drag and propel the pumpkin further. Previous world records broken by the team were in 2005 and 2007, both at 4,211 feet, but those launches were at sea level.

The successful launch was at 2 p.m., and the winning pumpkin was a La Estrella variety.

Pumpkins, or any vegetable used in an attempt to break the Guinness record, must be 10 pounds or less. The team used an 87-foot air cannon made of 9-inch irrigation pipe set at 45 degrees for the winning launch. The pumpkins fly 1,500 to 1,600 feet into the air.

“They’re pretty excited,” Ransier said. “After three days of trying and finally getting it, it’s a huge relief.”


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