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
If you would like regular exposure from Alastair's activities, become his Sustaining Sponsor:
- A range of attempts annually
- Your brand in multiple media
- Distribute your own media releases
- Receive product endorsements
Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
Their success underpins Alastair's.
|They are listed here|
Most table tennis balls held underwater: 12
This is the story behind my world record for the Most table tennis balls held underwater.
Does this look easy? If I were asked that, my
answer would be based on how big my hands were. Actually, it is more
involved than that. The method and thought beforehand is far more
relevant. My own hands are definitely not the world's largest – I have
proof of that, and yet I was able to succeed at this world record.
That's because I spent considerable time thinking about how I would go
I had assembled, together with dozens of others,
at a public event in New Zealand. Everyone there had a common aim: to
be their best that day and to show it. Yes, it might sound quirky to
you, but my way of showing my best side was to hold table tennis balls
underwater. It was to be a satisfying challenge, and one I'd be proud
to add to my list.
Referees were instructing people, registrations
were taking place, other world record holders were being welcomed and
the atmosphere was generally one of anticipation. Once I'd completed my
formalities, I took my gear to an area on the grass where I could pay
full attention to my table tennis balls. With a towel, several packs of
table tennis balls, two stopwatches and a bucket full of cool water, I
knelt down. Members of the public gathered round. This didn't seem
tricky so people weren't looking apprehensive. Neither was I, actually.
Quite calmly, with witnesses and timekeepers in place, I began.
I quietly re-read the instructions. They were
simple, but all world record rules read simply at first. I had to use
one hand to lay all the balls in the other, then submerge the lot
without a single ball rising to the surface for a minimum time. I
hand I thought would control all the
table tennis balls better, I brought the towel closer while my other
hand picked up the first of the white and orange balls. I slowly packed
individual balls onto my palm, then on top of one another as the pile
grew. I had practised, so I suspected what was about to happen. The
stack came tumbling down. Not to worry, I told everyone, because it was
simply a matter of repeating the process. I did this perhaps six times.
Then, I got it right and submerged my hand. From trying this at home, I
knew it was important to thrust my hand into the bucket at a steep
angle in a similar fashion to a sea bird diving for prey. But as my
fingers struck the water surface, two balls popped up and drifted to
the sides of the bucket. I stopped immediately and reached for the
I repeated this until my hand, clasping the
highest number of balls I'd managed to hold so far, shot under the
water. I twisted my wrist and angled my elbow fast, as was meant to
happen... all very technical for my spectators. To me, however, this
was what it took to succeed. I'd do it no matter what others thought.
The timekeeper was watching intently, because this was the closest I'd
come to success and he knew I was excited. On his count, I released the
balls and they all came speeding up, splashing drops across my
clothing. We counted and double counted the balls before I began the
admin process my witnesses knew would be next. I had a good feeling
about this attempt, but I also knew I could not claim an official world
record until I'd mailed in the evidence and waited for the decision.
Easy, I thought, smiling at the faces peering
down at me. Ending this world record attempt was straightforward. I
tossed out the water, dried myself, then packed away the coloured balls
with the stopwatches and towel. We were done!