Arguably the most fun part of the Guinness World Record is that once a random record is set, the race is on for someone else to beat it. That issue hits close to home for a group of skating enthusiasts in San Francisco, who on Sunday will attempt to break the record for the longest chain of roller skaters in the world. An effort was made in 2011, but the record was set by the Shivganga Roller Skating Club of Belgaum, India on May 31, 2017, who had 371 skaters line up for the event. San Francisco hopes it can land 400.
Organizing the challenge are a few familiar faces: the Church of 8 Wheels, which holds monthly skates at an old church in Western Addition; Black Rock Roller Disco, a Burning Man theme camp; and NOW Hunters Point, a community group seeking to reclaim the industrial shipyards. The date — July 29 — coincides with the 7th Annual Circus Festival presented by the Bayview Opera House, so in addition to skaters galore will be jugglers, clowns, and a massive fun slide.
It’s undoubtedly going to be a blast, but in order to beat the Shivganga the event also has to be highly organized. Those who want to participate must register, either online in advance or in person the day of. It’s $10 per person, but free for Bayview residents. Skates can be rented for another $10 if you don’t have your own. Note that only four-wheel “quad” rollerskates are permitted for this record attempt. That means no rollerblades.
And — the rules specifically state that the group must move at least 400 meters (a quarter of a mile) without breaking the chain. To qualify, participants must hold onto the person’s hips in front of you, not clothing, backpacks, or hands.
Registration opens at 10 a.m. at the Bayview Shoreline Park, and the first record attempt starts at 1 p.m. Swing by to spectate, or join in the chain for bragging rights if the record is broken. We can do this, San Francisco!