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Plaque, legislative sentiment recognize world record ice carousel

SINCLAIR, Maine — A plaque from the World Ice Carousel Association now adorns a wall at the Long Lake Sporting Club to recognize the record setting 427-foot diameter ice carousel area residents created here in April.

Janne Kapylehto, chairman of the World Ice Carousel Association based in Helsinki, Finland, sent Mike Cyr of Snowmobile Northern Maine which helped spearhead the world record effort, the plaque in July to honor those involved with the achievement.

Kapylehto told Cyr back in April that because the ice on Long Lake measured from 28-31 inches thick when volunteers cut into it, they had to work four times as hard to build the carousel as their Finnish counterparts did in building the previous record holder in Lohja, Finland, that measured 400.2 feet, in diameter.

Hundreds of volunteers helped to carve the 22 million pound chunk of ice out of Long Lake and used outboard motors to get it rotating like a carousel on April 7.

The plaque recognizes the Ice Busters of Sinclair, Maine USA for the effort.

On July 26, state Rep. Roland Danny Martin, also presented Cyr and other members of the Ice Busters with a legislative sentiment at the restaurant to further mark the feat.

The sentiment notes the weight, thickness and diameter of the ice carousel and states that lawmakers extend to the volunteers  “our congratulations and best wishes.”

While the men mentioned as heading up the Ice Busters team were Roger Morneault, Ken Martin, and Mike Cyr, the trio assured the state representative that many more people made the feat possible.

Ken Martin of Sinclair said on July 26 that there were so many people who helped, including friends, neighbors, and other volunteers that “It really was a community event.”

Ken Martin also wanted to acknowledge Neil and Denise Martin, owners of the Long Lake Sporting Club, for the use of their facilities, garages, tractors, and equipment during the effort which took several days over at least a couple of weeks in March and April.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.

The group first attempted the feat in mid-March, but with the temperature well below 0 degrees and gusty winds, failed at the first attempt.

“It was so cold and Mike asked, ‘Do you think we should call it off?’ and I said, ‘Well, as long as people are coming, let’s do it.’ So we went, and made it happen,” Ken Martin said.

Finally, the weekend of April 8, the Ice Busters succeeded in not only cutting the perfect circle, but also making it rotate with the help of four outboard motors.

“We’re just a ragtag bunch of people that came together from nothing and broke a world record,” Cyr said. “There were no committees, no meetings, we just came together and did it. We persevered until that huge chunk of ice started to rotate.”

Cyr made it a point on July 26 to recognize and thank Kapylehto for his support and recognition.

“It started from nothing, and it is snowballing into a huge international event,” Cyr added.

With their record breaking effort, the group also helped to promote and raise almost $8,000 for the Aroostook County Meals on Wheels program, which provides local senior citizens with meals delivered to their homes.

“There is senior hunger in Aroostook County, and we plan to obliterate it,” Cyr said.

Rep. Martin, who is a resident of Sinclair and grew up with the Ice Buster group of men said he was elated to honor them with the legislative sentiment.

“They helped put Sinclair on the map,” he said. “It is an economic booster for the Valley and The County.”

“Once we set our minds to it, we did it,” Cyr said.

The plaque and legislative sentiment will all be displayed at the Long Lake Sporting Club, until next year, when the Ice Busters say they will go for round two of breaking their own world record.

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