Several days clearing snow and cutting with a chainsaw a huge circle of ice more than 300 meters in diameter to rotate on a frozen lake: in Finland, a team is trying this weekend to beat the world record for the largest “Ice rink”.
On the vast lake of Lappajärvi in the west of the country, the small group is led by Finnish inventor Janne Käpylehto, who claims to be behind the concept in a viral video published in 2017.
The principle ? Once its route has been cleared of snow and cut, a boat motor connected to the immense circle of ice makes it turn on itself, like an enchantment in the middle of a beautiful frozen landscape.
The idea has since been copied elsewhere with increasingly larger “rides”, to the point that a category was created by the Guinness Book of Records.
“It’s pretty crazy”, confides to AFP the fantastic Finn, whose team had to start by removing 40 cm of snow on a circle whose perimeter exceeds 900 meters.
If Janne Käpylehto has held it four times, the record is currently held by an American in Minnesota, with a diameter of 228 meters.
To certify the performance, the merry-go-round must complete at least one complete turn on itself, which its designers hope to be able to do this Sunday or Monday. The main difficulty is to form a perfect circle so as not to block the rotation.
“If it is not perfectly circular, the merry-go-round does not turn,” explains Thor-Fredric Karlsson, one of the project assistants.
Inside the Lappajärvi merry-go-round, the team cut a smaller circle, which is powered by an electric boat motor when the large merry-go-round requires a gasoline engine.
The municipality has supported the project to warn of the shortening of northern winters due to climate change, meaning that lakes freeze less often. In fact, positive temperatures have reigned in recent days in this small, remote corner of the Finnish forest.
Janne Käpylehto, who already has more than 60 rides to her credit, says she has “lots of other projects”. “But I’m focusing on this one, I’ll think about it next week,” he slips.