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Man Sets 'Great Loop' Record at 19 Days, 19 Hours, 50 Minutes in Quest to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

He did it.

Captain Red Flowers has completed his own Great Loop Challenge in 19 days, 19 hours, and 50 minutes.

Flowers' journey sets a new record for the fastest time to ever complete The Great Loop.

While there is no official record keeping, the fastest previously known trip was completed in 34 days by pontoon boat in 2022. Most boaters who undertake the 6000 mile (9700 km) trip, which is a complete circumnavigation of the eastern half of North America, typically take 10-16 months aboard a larger vessel like a yacht or cruiser.

Flowers and his team departed from Florida on June 15th and pulled back into the Sunshine State less than three weeks later.

Flowers completed the unbelievable task in a modest 28-foot center console from Canyon Bay Boats that was specially outfitted for the journey. His custom 28H Model ran with a single outboard engine and held strong as Flowers, plus several crew and their gear, raced around the continent.

Flowers dedicated the journey towards raising money for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation in Tampa, Florida -- a cause near and dear to him as a cancer survivor himself. While Flowers and his team didn't have time to reach their fundraising goal after such a short time on the water, they remain committed to reaching the $1 million milestone.

Thanks to an initial grass-roots effort from donors and sponsors, the Great Loop Challenge raised over $100,000 towards their goal before even leaving the dock. Donations have continued to pour in since the crew has returned, helped in part by a massive community effort by the NPCF and the Lake Beresford Yacht Club who hosted their homecoming party.

Other sponsors for the journey included Power Pole, Tocaro Blue PROTEUS 3D Navigation, FGCI, Seaspension, Battery Tender, Seaview, Starlink, Gemlux, and Ezell Fuel Tanks.

It's estimated that about 150 boaters start the Great Loop each year, although less than 10% ever complete the trip. Those who do typically do it as part of their retirement or during time off, allowing for 10-16 months of gradual progress where one can stop if the weather turns. Not so for Flowers and team, who had to tackle the challenging route in all conditions. The Loop is infamous for challenging even seasoned boaters as it encompasses nearly every possible boating scenario and skillset -- freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, oceans, lock systems, international borders, different climates, and different weather patterns.

Flowers and the NPCF are encouraging people to make donations of $43 -- a symbol of the 43 children who are diagnosed with cancer every single day -- until they reach their goal.

You can watch a video of Captain Flower's highlights from the trip, including the moment they set the record, in the video below:

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