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Old 02-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Hands Across the Water

Laconia Daily Sun
Paddlers of 2,000+ canoes & kayaks to join hands off Weirs Beach in September
LACONIA — The New Hampshire Lakes Association wants to put Weirs Beach in the Guinness Book of World Records come September when the association hosts ''Hands Across the Water'', an event at which it hopes to see more than 2,000 canoes and kayaks assemble and paddle together to form the world's largest raft.
Tom O'Brien, president of the association, told the City Council last night that the event is scheduled for Saturday, September 7, and will see the canoes and kayaks paddle out from the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in late morning to a designated area, 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet, just off from Weirs Beach and surrounded by support boats.
He said that the canoes and kayaks will be launched from a number of shoreline access points, public and private, roughly between Awka Marina to the west and Pendleton Beach to the east. Once all of the boats are assembled the 3,000 to 4,000 participants will raise their paddles, and then join hands and raft together for at least 30 seconds.
He said the event will break the current world record, set in upstate New York last summer, when 1,925 canoes and kayaks gathered at 4th Lake at Inlet, New York in a ''One Square Mile of Hope'' fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
''We're hoping to have Captain Jim Morash of the Mount Washington sound the horn to start the rafting event,'' O'Brien told the council as he sought approval for the event, plans for which have already been presented to the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
He said that the designated rafting area would be located away from travel lanes associated with the Weirs channel, marinas and the M/S Mt. Washington cruise route.
''We're working with volunteers from paddling groups and from lakes all over the state,'' said O'Brien, who said that the goal of the event is to raise awareness of the spread of invasive aquatic weeds such as water milfoil, which he said is already costing more than $1 million a year statewide to combat.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the association's efforts to combat invasive species, something that the organization, which administers the statewide Lake Host program, which coordinates the voluntary inspection of boats in lakes all over the state for invasive aquatic species, is very familiar with.
Now in its 12th year, the Lake Host program awards payroll grants to local groups which carry out its educational programs at boat ramps open to the public on lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout New Hampshire.
O'Brien said the rafting event will be followed by an on-land celebration featuring music, food and booths with information on lake ecology which would be set up at Endicott Park at Weirs Beach and would draw between 1,000 and 2,000 people.
''It's a shoulder season event which would be a great opportunity for local businesses,'' said O'Brien, who said that the association would work with the city on all of the details of the event and was hoping for quick action by the council so that it could start promoting and advertising the event as soon as possible.
Ward 4 Councilor Brenda Baer asked if the city would realize any revenue as a result of the event and O'Brien said that the association would cover all police, fire and other expenses but that it didn't know at this point whether or not it would even realize a profit.
''It's as much friend building as it is fund building. It will put us in touch with 2,000 or more people who could be members,'' said O'Brien, who said that many who help sponsor the event will be providing in-kind donations for ''Hands Across the Water.''
Ward 6 Councilor Eva Doyle moved that the council approve the concept of the event and the council voted unanimously in support of her motion.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #2
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i am in!
i will put the motor away for this
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Default Excellent idea!

However providing a chain from Akwa marina to Pendleton Beach will block passages to the Weirs. I would suggest from Akwa Marina along the shore toward Meredith town docks.

I can't believe Laconia wants to capitilize on this event. Have they done enough already? Try to be a vendor in Laconia and it is an act of Congress! No wonder why you don't see hot dog stands and health fairs in Laconia. Not even a roach coach!
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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Laconia is run by some "interesting" people.

This event will probably end up in Meredith once the organizers give up in dealing with all the dept heads.

Good luck to them it would be a nice addition to the area.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Laconia is run by some "interesting" people.
Is that why the new Weirs Beach roundabout, built and owned by the NH-DOT, is the only one around that has a smooth concrete circular apron and not one similar to Meredith with large granite pavers?
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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Kind of funny how Winni has got so many new "no rafting zones" and now its looking to build the biggest raft in the world.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:16 PM   #7
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Yes, the no-rafting zones are specifically for motorboats, and this "hands across the water" rafting is for kayaks and canoes which get paddled and are treated a lot different by the boating law.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:09 AM   #8
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Cool Should be interesting.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the Weirs one of the highest volume traffic areas on the lake? Oh and don't forget how even a breeze coming down Meredith bay will turn into 2 foot waves down at the Weirs.
Hmm, sounds like whoever decided where to do this needs to do some more research. Of course they may get lucky and have it be a rainy day when not many boats are heading in and out of that area.
Many times I've kayaked out to Stonedam Island from the channel and I could not imagine trying to keep a group of kayaks together in that chop.
Good luck to them.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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Another spot they might want to consider is Ellacoya. Plenty of parking and they can handle lots of cars and space for vendors. Doesn't have the history Wiers has, but has the experience of the crowds with the Iron Man events.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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Doesn't matter whether it's motorboats or paddlers, I don't think I would like to be in the middle of this pack if I had a medical emergency.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:34 PM   #11
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Sounds like a fun stunt. The logistics of getting 2000+ paddle boats in the water will be a challenge.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #12
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Default Hands Across the Water

There are some great comments here about the event that the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES) is planning at Weirs Beach and we appreciate all your feedback and advice. We have been working closely with the City of Laconia and they have been great to work with. We have also consulted with the Bureau of Marine Safety and other folks who know these waters and we realize that there are challenges. But by forming this floating raft in the morning, staying west and outside of the Weirs channel to Paugus Bay, and having great on-water support, we are confident that we can provide a safe experience for the boaters. It will of course be weather and wind-dependent so we’ll be doing our best no-rain-nor-wind-dance. We hope to see you all there!
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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Lake Advocate, I just noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends.
Thanks for your input as it is great info.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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Default How do you join?

I have a group of people who are interested in participating. Where can we find more info about joining? Do we have to register or just show up?

What a great way to be a part of Winnipesaukee history!
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #15
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I have a group of people who are interested in participating. Where can we find more info about joining? Do we have to register or just show up?

What a great way to be a part of Winnipesaukee history!
Just noticed this post. Sounds like a cool event and I can get about 5-6 people together to join. I'd love it a little closer to my cottage so I can paddle over, but will put it in my calender and try my best to make it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:49 PM   #16
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This sounds great.
We would love to be part of this if we can make it up then.

Sorry if this breaks the rules of the event, it's only a thought. Unless the canoes and kayaks are required to paddle out under their own power , maybe a few responsible boats could slowly tow a chain of canoes out to some of the farther points to be reached in order to save time.
IMO we all know at least one boater will feel this short term event is going to devastate their boating experience.

Could someone post the logistics of this event as they become available. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:00 PM   #17
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If I could add another suggestion...
It would be nice to hang a framed "certificate" of some sort, in the house, stating we were part of this historic event on the lake.
If each participant received one certificate before or somehow after the event would be nice. Then later they could frame it if they chose.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:30 AM   #18
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Any more details on this? And is there a sign up or anything?
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:10 AM   #19
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http://www.gmcg.org/hands-across-the-water-sept-7th/

Saw this searching the internet.......might help
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #20
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Perfect weather is forecast for Saturday, when thousands of kayakers and canoeists will attempt to break a world record for the largest "raft" ever! We will be overhead shooting both high and low. Visit www.AerialPhotoNH.com/kayaks the next day for some great birds-eye views of this event!
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:05 PM   #21
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Default Kayak/canoes rentals

I think it is a important note that if you do not have a kayak or canoe you can still be part of the days event. The Lakefest organizers have put together a great program to rent kayaks and canoes. They have a registration on there website http://lakefest.wordpress.com/registration/ for rentals. The rentals are picked up at Akwa Marina and launched off our beach. We hope everyone has fun and learns about how to properly clean, dry and drain not just their boat but their equipment as well.
After the event we hope you will paddle over and check out the new Akwa Marina Beach Bar. We are going to have some great food specials with some great in season items. Also we have changed out the taps to all fall seasonals, Harpoon Pumpkin, Sam October, Longtrail IPA, along with a strawberry infused fresh lemonade.

Have Fun!!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #22
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HOLY CRAP !!

I better get out to the sandbar early ..... from the sounds of it I may be trapped on shore behind this !!

but I wish them luck......... Hope it's a typical beautiful Sunday morning for them





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Old 09-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #23
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Please, anyone participating in this, be careful! Don't go if you can't swim. There is bound to be some capsizing, and if you can't swim, recovery could be difficult. Don't want to be a downer, but with this many people and boats there will be issues.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:16 AM   #24
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What time are they starting? I checked the flyer and other postings, but maybe I missed it? All I can see is the mention of Saturday morning.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:43 PM   #25
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And please be sure to clean your boat/kayak/floatingdevice well before and after the event! With many watercraft coming and going from many other bodies of water, the opportunity for transfer of foreign species could be high.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:38 AM   #26
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Fun is about to start
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #27
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I saw this picture on Twitter. It looked like fun but I heard no records were broke. Anyone have any more pictures or information?

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Old 09-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #28
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Oh that's too bad! Not enough people showed up?
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #29
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Oh that's too bad! Not enough people showed up?
Drove by in my car and saw maybe 200 if that kayaks/canoes at 10am when everyone had their paddles up.
One note, I would be been there but saw that it was $15 to enter. i realize that it's a charity event but it's a little steep to paddle out get hit but a bunch of other kayaks and then paddle in.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #30
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I don't think they advertised it that well....considering this is the first I've heard of an entry fee too.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:21 AM   #31
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We were there ( by boat) and it was well short of the anticipated. I do not by any means have the "official" count but to my eye there was no more than perhaps 300 kayaks.

Quite a shame..... Personally I think it was the lack of promotion of the event beforehand.


I have numerous pic's and will post when I return home from the Lake

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #32
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To bad they didn't make it. I can't help but wonder if the timing of the event played a part also. It may have been planned for the weekend after Labor Day weekend to avoid crowds and boat traffic, but the crowds may have helped drive up the number of participants, who knows..
Will there be another attempt again next year?
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:16 AM   #33
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To bad they didn't make it. I can't help but wonder if the timing of the event played a part also. It may have been planned for the weekend after Labor Day weekend to avoid crowds and boat traffic, but the crowds may have helped drive up the number of participants, who knows..
Will there be another attempt again next year?
I truely think, for me, that the price what the issue. I thought that I read that it was $15 (maybe that was pre-reg), looking at the website, it was $20: https://nhlakefest.eventbrite.com/
Maybe $5-10 and more people show up. And then maybe do a paddle tour around somewhere after? I'm sure that a few people did that, but make it an event.
Just my 2 cents. I was actually looking forward to participating until I saw the price, then I decided to bring another one of my toys up instead of the kayak.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #34
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Perhaps NH Lakes Association should set up their events on NH360 or Eventbrite. Use social media etc. They definitely need to advertise NOW for next year.

Instead of a mandatory entrance fee which is not tax deductible and there is tax on fees, they should request a donation for a worthy cause.

They definitely need to do a better job!
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #35
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As Promised..... here are a couple of pictures !

Sorry -- the last one is a little dark as a setting changed on my camera & I did not realize
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:01 PM   #36
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So was it a charity event or was it trying to set a record? I think maybe they needed to decide which it is.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #37
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Default Both...

It appears that they were trying to accomplish both a record, and a charity fundraiser.

The $15 fee was for pre-registration, and after the last day for pre-registration (can't remember if it was just the day of the event), the registration fee went to $20.

It is not unusual for a Charity Event to have an entry fee. Usually, they will tell you how much is tax deductible. My wife plays in a golf tournament that cost $150 per person to play. They play to a full field (144 golfers). The entire amount is tax deductible. The course donates the greens fees and the carts, and the restaurant donates the food.

Just seems that this event was just not clearly advertised, and its purpose not defined well either. Perhaps if they had, they may have had more participation, and raised significantly more money.

Hopefully, a lesson learned.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #38
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Well, not that it is any of my business, but I would suggest if they really want to set a new record, they should separate the two.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #39
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I have no problem with them doing both. I think that it's a good way for the charity to raise money to try to break a record. It's kind of like car shows that raise money for a local charity as well. But if it was $5 and 1000 people showed up they would have made more than $15-20 and 200-400 showing up.
I also agree that more advertising is needed as well. But as long as it's that much to paddle out and raise my paddle, I'm out.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #40
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two errors on my part:

1) $20 per kayak. We had two, but the price was too high. If they want to break a record, make the donation voluntary.

2) They didn't list the time of the event. We went to watch, and by the time we got there, it was all over.

Sorry to say, this was not how to run an event if they were serious about breaking a record.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:32 AM   #41
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I understand the reasoning behind scheduling this after Labor Day due to boat traffic, etc. But if they plan another attempt, they will never get a big enough crowd unless they schedule it between the beginning of July and mid-August. Once schools start, there are too many conflicts for many each weekend.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:21 PM   #42
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Wouldn't it make more sense to hold this on Squam Lake?
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #43
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Did anyone notice whether Emergency Services, like an ambulance was standing by at the event? Organizers of this type of a fundraiser will typically provide for such.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:52 AM   #44
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Did anyone notice whether Emergency Services, like an ambulance was standing by at the event? Organizers of this type of a fundraiser will typically provide for such.
There were several marine patrols boats of various sizes surrounding the kayakers. I didn't notice anything on the land, but I also wasn't looking...
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #45
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I was totally gung ho about doing this until I saw the entry fee. That's ridiculous. Do you have to pay the people from Guinness world records to come and do this? Otherwise I would think an event like this could be done for free or very close to that. I echo the sentiments of others when I say that they should have made a donation voluntary to a charity of choice, rather than charging that much. Really shot themselves in the foot there, if it were free I think they would have done much better. I also think doing it in Meredith Bay could have been better since it's a huge no wake zone with less boat traffic for newer Kayakers and Canoers to be worried about.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #46
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Otherwise I would think an event like this could be done for free or very close to that.
From what I understood, this was a fundraiser event first and foremost. The Guinness record was a "gimmick" to encourage people to participate, not the other way around.

The entry fee was reasonable, IMO, however I don't think there are enough kayaks on the lake to break the record (there may technically be enough, but you're every only going to get a fraction that have the time and interest in any given event like this). I'd estimate you'd need to have a population of 8,000 kayakers in the immediate area in order to get enough to show up to break a record.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:13 PM   #47
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Wouldn't it make more sense to hold this on Squam Lake?
It would be better between Sandy and Little Bear.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #48
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Default look at their website

Their website spells out pretty much exactly what everyone is asking. The event was for invasive species education. http://lakefest.wordpress.com/clean-drain-dry/
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:02 PM   #49
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There was a website!???

Where was this back on Feb when this thread was started?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #50
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Default An act of omission?

Original post was an article from the Laconia Daily Sun. The reporter perhaps did not know that there was a website for the event (if one had been developed at the time of the interview). No mention in that article.

Website was not mentioned either by Lake Advocate in post #12 (I think), who seems to be affiliated with the organization.

As one who is involved with several charitable and voluntary organizations and events, the $15 or $20 participation fee does not bother me at all. I get involved because it is a charitable cause. If it ends up being a tax deduction, either partially or in total, that is just a bonus.

Seems like the lack of proper advertising and promotion doomed this project from the start.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #51
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There were several marine patrols boats of various sizes surrounding the kayakers. I didn't notice anything on the land, but I also wasn't looking...
there was also one or two Laconia FD trucks parked up by the boardwalk
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