What it takes to be a record breaker  

 No doubt the latest Guinness Book of Records will find its way into many Christmas stockings  this year. A much-loved national institution in the UK, the 16th edition has just been published and for the intrepid travellers amongst  us,  the book provides plenty of inspiration on where to go in the world and what to do when you get there.  Here’s a  brief look at what you’d need to do to get into the 17th edition.

You can forget about doing a base jump off the top of the world’s tallest building, the 828m Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, because two Frenchmen, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffett have already been there, and done it. They jumped off the tower and into the record book for making the highest base jump in April last year.

If you want to be the oldest female to sail single handily around the world, you’ll have to be older than seventy. That’s the age that  Jeanne Socrates was in 2013 when she completed a solo, unassisted and non-stop circumnavigation of the world and so sailed into the record book.

If circumnavigation is your thing, then don’t both trying to do a lap of the Greenland ice cap, because a Belgian and Canadian have already done it. Their 4,000km expedition in April last year took them right around the world’s largest island and second largest ice body.

Of course, you don’t have to personally achieve anything to get close to the book. You could head to Dubai and see inthe New Year there. The  City entered the book by clinching the title in 2014 for the ‘World’s Largest LED-Illuminated Façade’, which was screened on the Burj Khalifa. (That building again).

The 2014 celebration saw another record set when organisers set off a six-minute extravaganza that stretched across 100km of shoreline, including The Palm Jumeirah and the World Islands, with 400,000 fireworks being set off from 400 locations. The feat saw 79,651 shells fired on New Year’s Eve, at a rate of almost 80K shells per minute and 1,332 fireworks per second.

And as you’re in the Middle East already, you might as well stay there until January and head to Abu Dhabi where you can enjoy (if that’s the right word) a ride on Flying Aces, the fastest roller coaster in the world, which next year is aiming to enter the book for breaking two Guinness World records; the world’s tallest loop (about 17 storeys high), and the world’s steepest incline.

The faint-hearted, or just plain thirsty, might want to stay closer to home (and nearer to the ground) and  head instead to Aufsess in Upper Franconia, Bavaria which has just made it into the Guinness World Records, for having four breweries serving just 1,400 inhabitants! Now that’s what we call a record worth having!


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