took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
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Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
Their success underpins Alastair's.
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Furthest golf ball blow: 5.83 metres
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Furthest golf ball blow.
I am fascinated by items that move once having been blown. That
includes the glide of a golf ball. And, since I wanted to break my own
world record for blowing one the furthest, I decided to do so at my
next available opportunity. That happened to be an event at which I'd
be adjudicated, hopefully making my attempt easy. I wouldn't have to do
any admin, because the world record result would be announced
immediately following my event. That appealed to me, as you can
I could have spent time looking for a different
venue to make this world record attempt, but it was easier to return to
the train station. I did, this time with the adjudicator. I'd promised
myself I'd do so, and it felt good to see things eventuating. As I
walked to the area where I had succeeded at this world record the last
time, the determination in me welled up. I was committed to
obliterating my existing success. The world had better watch, I told
myself, because something worth knowing was about to happen.
Unlike on my previous golf ball-blowing visit, I
hadn't had to source a lot of information on golf balls - although
sites such as 3ball.com had
proved useful. The
adjudicator lent me a limited edition branded golf ball, so this part
of the planning had been straightforward.
A TV crew had been sent with the adjudicator.
They fussed around with deciding what angles to record from, they
checked lighting and discussed matters in depth with both the
adjudicator and me. It was important that they got excellent footage
because this world record – should it be successful – would be
considered for use in a global media promotion. Once tests had been
conducted and everyone agreed that plans were in order, I sank to the
floor. Dust was centimetres from my nose. I didn't mind in the least.
Straining to look upwards, I watched the cameraman so I knew how to
respond to his movements. The adjudicator checked that I was ready. I
They waited and waited as I filled my lungs, then
emptied them and filled them again. Rather than just give me energy,
doing so also made me feel dizzy. But I could put this dizziness to
good use. I placed the golf ball where I could have licked it, it was
so close to my face. Using every chest and thoracic muscle I had
control over, I blew as if my fate was dependent on how well I
performed. The ball advanced, but sluggishly. Don't do that, I thought
and returned to my starting position. The cameraman repeated his
movements. The adjudicator waited in silence.
deep inside my eyes stung. I
couldn't think. It was the end. My mind had gone blank. My eyes
couldn't focus on the ball. My consciousness was fading. Then,
involuntarily, I breathed in slowly and that bewildering instant
vanished. All I needed was a little fresh air, it seemed.
I hopped up and walked behind the freely rolling
ball. This little thing was clever; I was impressed. Yes, I had tried
to aim my blow so the ball would dash past the pillars, chair legs and
railing nearby, and I was pleased to see this was working. The crouched
adjudicator had to step back, then step back again, and once again.
Realising this ball was going some distance, he stood and walked
alongside it with me. The ball kept going, as if it wanted to impress
That's just what it did – everyone was astounded
at how far this golf ball sailed across the floor. Its momentum was
seemingly endless. When the attention-seeking ball came to rest, the
measurement showed it had travelled three times as far as my existing
world record. Two minutes later, the adjudicator opened his mouth and
out spilled the most precious words I'd heard in a while:
“Congratulations Alastair, you've set a new world record!”
I was as happy as could be. This was a momentous
achievement for me, and the others knew it. The cameraman was pacing
back and forth, capturing the action repeatedly. The adjudicator seemed
excited on my behalf. And I was then pumped full of adrenalin. This was
such a good feeling.
However, the good vibes were then to begin. The event's TV footage was sent away and soon appeared in a worldwide entertainment news release. I was in it! Unbelievable. I felt breathless with gratitude and appreciation; quite a different reason for being breathless to when I'd made the attempt. Seeing this extensive media coverage convinced me, yet again, that I was born to be a world record breaker.