After an anxious wait of almost 12 months, the London office of Guinness World Records has officially declared last November’s Akubra Muster event in Kempsey a record-breaking achievement.
In an email sent last week, the Guinness team congratulated the Kempsey community for being “officially amazing”.
“We are delighted to confirm that you have successfully achieved a new Guinness World Records title for ‘Largest gathering of people wearing akubra hats’,” the email stated.
An official Guinness World Records certificate confirming the world record is currently being created and will be posted to Australia this month.
The world record attempt was held on the banks of the Macleay River at Kempsey’s Riverside Park on Friday, November 9, 2012.
The early morning event coincided with the 2012 Akubra Hats Kempsey Cup and was broadcast live across Australia to viewers of the popular Sunrise morning breakfast television program.
Coordinated by Council’s Economic Sustainability Unit with support from the Macleay Argus newspaper and many local businesses and community organisations, the event aimed to bring 1000 people together wearing an Akubra to create a Guinness World Record.
Despite rainy conditions, 1912 proud locals braved the weather at dawn to gather on the riverbank, where they were mustered into a large cattle pen for the official count.
“The aim of the event was to make history for the Macleay and showing we’re proud to be associated with such an iconic Australian legend as the Akubra hat,” said Kempsey Shire Council’s Manager, Economic Sustainability, Susannah Smith.
Guinness guidelines for creating an official world record are extremely rigorous, with evidence required for all aspects of the event and the official count.
“As far as we were concerned, the event was a huge success because we far exceeded our target of 1000 people, but once the event was over we still had the huge task of bundling together all our evidence and shipping it to London,” Ms Smith said.
“We have been a little nervous that it’s taken Guinness this long to declare us official world record breakers, but they’ve come through with the official news now, so we’re really relieved and delighted.”