Tom paddles his pumpkin into the record books

One man and his floating squash… Tom Pearcy of York Maze in his pumpkin boat. Photographs: Richard McDougall
29 Oct 2018 @ 7.04 pm
| Entertainment

We’ve seen some strange things floating down the River Ouse over the years.

But a man in a giant hollowed-out pumpkin was a first.

The man was Tom Pearcy of York Maze. And his unusual boat was made from a squash from the maze’s week-long Halloween Festival.

We're live as Tom from the York Maze rows a pumpkin boat down the river

Posted by YorkMix on Monday, October 29, 2018

He took to the water on Monday (October 29) aiming to create a new record for the world’s biggest pumpkin boat.

It was lowered into the water by a JCB telehandler on Queen’s Staith, before Tom climbed in.

He looked a little wobbly at first – it wasn’t the most aeronautically sleek vessel.

But he soon got the hang of it. And once the City Cruises boats had left the area he set off paddling from Ouse Bridge to Skeldergate Bridge.

Squash goes splosh

Cheered on by spectators on the bank – some of whom broke into a rendition of What do we do with the drunken sailor? – and shepherded all the way by York Rescue Boat, Tom grew in confidence.

Once he had got more than half way he even managed a few spins in the pumpkin.

Then he got a big cheer as he reached Skeldergate Bridge. York Rescue Boat, which has received a big donation for its help, towed him back to Queen’s Staith. Now we will have to see if the Guinness World Records adjudicators confirm as an official record.

Either way it was a first for York. And probably for the planet. A day to be as proud as a pumpkin.