Helen Skelton, host of the British children's tv show Blue Peter, has just set the Guinness World Record for a solo kayaking trip. She's paddling down the Amazon river and has just passed halfway, the 1,000 mile point. (Here's a BBC clip.) She has also set a record for the longest paddle in 24 hours in flowing water by a woman: 75 miles.
According to Guinness, the previous record for the longest journey by canoe or kayak was made by Daniel Bloor who travelled 326.98 miles (526.22km) from Tewitfield, Cumbria to Little Venice, London, UK, from 9 June 2006 to 19 June 2006.
Not to take anything away from Helen's achievement, or Daniel's for that matter -- god knows they've both paddled farther than I ever have and both paddled to support charities -- but how the heck are these world records? What is the criteria that Guinness is using to determine the longest solo paddle? I'm baffled. Not that the Guinness website is any help -- apparently only a small fraction of their "records" are available in their on-line database.
Are long distance kayakers too modest to publicize their exploits? That doesn't seem likely! :) But someone needs to let the Guinness people know they are a little behind the times in this category.