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.
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Loudest clap: 113 dbA
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Loudest clap.
The great thing about attempting to beat your own world record is that
you know you can do it. It's been documented in black and white. So
when I was asked if I thought I could break this world record, I was
confident. Nevertheless, I was weary because – as you can expect –
beating the best still requires a concerted level of effort. Apart from
anything else, I think it's good to set one's own aims a little, or
even a lot, higher in such cases. With this attitude, I was ready to
face the challenge.
Since I'm a compulsive clapper, I made an effort
to clap with purpose from then on. My clapping would vary: I did it
with cupped hands, stiffened fingers, washed hands, I slapped my palms
and finger bases and so much more. One technique – which I'm not about
to tell you about in detail – stood out. Or, more to the truth, my ears
felt the 'ting' when this style of clap got really loud. I dismissed
all the other variations of my clapping then, since I'd identified the
winner. Next I had to perfect this winning technique, which I got right
in minimal time.
I was looking
forward to returning to the
acoustics chamber I remembered so well. I also recalled how the staff
had welcomed me again, should I wish to return. I would do it. And I
knew precisely when, too. An adjudicator had been allocated to me for
several upcoming world record attempts, and I had the privilege of
choosing what I wanted to spend my time doing while they would be
present. I went about repeating all I'd done before: booking the
acoustics chamber, planning the admin, notifying the team and a host of
other things. This time, preparations went quickly and smoothly. I
would be right back in that specialist testing chamber very soon.
What a pleasure it was. A three-man TV crew and
others joined the adjudicator and I. I'd never have imagined a TV
cameraman and a team of acoustics professionals coming together to
watch me clap. But it was happening. The only difference from my
previous attempt was that the TV crew required me to do some things
specifically. It took around an hour to set the event up, and I was
able to get to it, clapping joyously.
I beat my own world record and was awarded a new
one right there, while the TV camera was trained on my face and chest.
With childlike abandon, I punched the air and exclaimed with happiness.
Although my hands were tired and a little sore, I even went as far as
clapping a few times as my way of congratulating myself. This was good.
And it was all being captured on film.
The footage was to be sent to Europe and used in
a global media release. Over the next few months, it popped up
everywhere: on TV stations, on the internet and elsewhere. A lot of
people must have seen it because I'd have children commenting “I saw
you!” and explain what they'd seen me do in the snippet of edited film.
I liked that attention very much. The satisfaction fired me up, it gave
me a spring in my step, and it launched me right into planning my next
series of world record attempts.
It came to my attention, some time later, that in the Global Village in Dubai, a select number of world records was being sported. The idea appears to be that international visitors passing through try and break a world record. I was pleasantly surprised to find my Loudest clap being offered as one of the fun challenges. And, last time I checked, I was even more pleased to see that nobody had managed to beat me yet: nobody passing through Dubai and giving this a try! Wow.