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 coin flick: 12 metres 11cm
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Furthest coin flick.
To flick a coin is easy. But to get three world
records for flicking a coin is, well, record-breaking. But it's true
and I've proven that these dexterous little fingers of mine can flick
small objects rather far.
I was hyperactive with excitement when the news
reached me: I'd been given permission to make several world record
attempts in a large train station. Great! My attitude was that everyone
else present should move aside because they'd probably not otherwise
have the opportunity to watch a world record being attempted there –
and it was to be prime entertainment.
This, I felt, didn't need great practice since I
knew exactly what I had to do from my previous successes. So, to
prepare, I flicked a number of coins in my garden and casually down the
street. The day I took my team to the train station was to be a good
one, and flicking my bag of coins across the passenger waiting area in
practice was pleasant for me. It made me feel fantastic when others
stopped to stare. I wondered if they had any idea of the reason. My
mind was active. My blood was rushing. My energy was high. I simply
couldn't wait to secure another world record and that couldn't come a
minute too soon.
I had witnesses but I was short of several
by-standers to take part. I'd known this all along. Not to worry, I
reassured myself, since I'd just grab whoever happened to be walking
past, sipping a drink, speaking on their mobile phone or otherwise
occupying themselves as they waited for a train. Waiting passengers had
formed a huddle nearby and watched me as I set myself up. I received
many blank looks. One young man appeared especially expressionless.
That was enough to irritate me just a little, so I stamped my way over
to him and said, “World record attempt. Will you witness for me?”
Hearing that, his face lit up and he obliged. Great, I had one
by-stander. A second youngster overheard this and asked to be told
more. Within five minutes, I had all the by-standers I'd need and I
smiled, thinking this might become the most interesting train wait
projectile tossing machine, I sent coin
after coin sailing forward from behind the line as soon as I'd got all
the required people where I wanted them. It wasn't possible to spot
where each coin first landed, so I kept repeating the flicking. After
quite some trying, it became evident that I'd flicked as far as I
could. Upon my final flick, the coin sped tremendously far with
seemingly boundless energy, the helpers all pointed down to the floor
boards at once, vigorously, as if accusing the little coin of a heinous
crime where it had first landed. That's exactly what I told them to do,
and I was then able to oversee the precision distance measuring.
Back and forth I strode across the floor, as did
my assistants, to get the most accurate measurement we could. After
many questions and checks, I was satisfied that we'd got an exact
figure and we all relaxed. The by-standers who'd been included in my
activities were standing there as if freshly shocked. It had all taken
place so quickly, astonishing them. Yet, they were obliging and helped
with all the info I asked for. I thanked them - some still standing
looking lost, while others moved off to the train platforms.
I spent a few quiet moments cuddling my finger in
the waiting area, stroking it and generally letting it know how proud I
was. Good finger, I mused: now that's what I like about my body; it can
really achieve. Of course, I'd need to have the world record claim
verified, but I had a positive feeling already. I suppose that for
someone who lives for the next world record they can attain, being
positive about it is the only way!
Within minutes, the admin was completed so my
team and I turned our attention to the next world record attempt I had
come to make. My mind was still racing, and much of that was eagerness
to get hold of a handful more titles.