ST. AGATHA, Maine — The Long Lake ice was melting fast on Saturday under a warm spring sun, but a determined group of northern Maine volunteers worked faster to make a 27-acre circular chunk of lake ice spin and recapture the World Championship Ice Carousel Record.
Northern Maine Ice Busters last Friday carved a disc with a diameter of 1,234 feet out of the icy lake in just one day using chainsaws and one of two inventions designed by St. Agatha plumber Roger Morneault.
The Ice Buster volunteers on Friday used augers to drill 1,280 holes in perfect precision, thanks to volunteer surveying efforts from Sackett and Brake Survey Inc. Morneault’s trencher cut between the holes to complete the disc, which measured in at a circumference of 3,800 feet.
Today the group of ice carousel enthusiasts used outboard motors and a potato harvester blower motor Morneault modified with a 24-inch brass propeller to successfully spin the carousel one full revolution, enough to bring the world record title back to Maine.
“This just shows the ingenuity and tenacity of the people up here,” Ice Buster volunteer John Mazo said.
The volunteer group of between 20 and 30 Ice Busters initially intended to cut a smaller disc, until a group based in Finland threw a frosty wrench in those plans. In February, the Finnish group successfully cut and turned a monster-sized disc measuring in at a little more than 1,000 feet in diameter.
The Finnish disc conquered a 749-foot record set in 2019 by Sunny Zwilling Memorial Ice Carousel Extravaganza of Little Falls, Minnesota.
The Ice Busters successfully carved out a 2018 World Record Ice Carousel on Long Lake in Sinclair in April of that year. The northern Maine championship ice disc was 427 feet in diameter and weighed 22 million pounds.
The World Ice Carousel Association monitors the events.
Hundreds gathered at the St. Agatha boat landing Saturday morning to witness the latest world record event.
Many spectators were reluctant to step onto the melting lake ice and watched from the boat landing, where Lakeview Restaurant cooked up hamburgers and musicians AJ and CJ provided live musical entertainment.
Among them was Todd Daigle of Frenchville.
“I just want to see if it’s a possibility because it’s a world record; I want them to bring it back home,” Daigle said.
Ice Buster Mike Cyr said the lake ice was safe enough to handle the effort today, but might not have been by tomorrow.
“We made it by the hair of our chinny chin-chin,” Cyr said.
The Ice Busters will work with the Guiness Book of World Records to add the ice carousel to that famed record keeping organization.
“We’re gonna be providing the documentation to get it put in the book,” Cyr said. “No one will beat this in 2021.”
Kevin Sargent of Sackett and Brake out of Dover-Foxcroft said his team did not hesitate to volunteer their surveying services when Morneault reached out to them.
“It’s not everyday you get to come up and see something like this,” Sargent said.