We Broke A Curling Guinness Book Record
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We broke a curling Guinness Book World Record!
Hello, my name is Jim Paul.
My curling story begins in 1982 at a curling club in Brockville Ontario.
I was in my twenties and was at the curling club chatting with my friend Chris McCrady about world records. We found out that someone had broken the Guinness World Record for a two-man non-stop curling marathon. Not ever even knowing there was such an event, we contemplated the idea that we possibly could break the existing record of 24.5 hours.
With the help of our appointed coach Sheila Rhodes, we placed a telephone call to the Guinness Office in New York City. They stated the rules and regulations that had to be followed and told us that someone had broken the current 24.5 hours record with 36.5 hours but was yet to be recorded in the Guinness Book. We decided to try to break the record anyway and wrote to the Guinness Head Office in England.
The Head Office wrote back and gave specific instructions as to proceed.
- We had to have a logbook stating breaks, the time and duration.
- We were allowed to take a 5-minute break every hour.
- We had to have officials there always to verify and supervise. They had to witness the event and sign sworn affidavits as to its authenticity.
- We were to throw curling rocks from end to end continuously.
- No one was allowed to touch any of the curling rocks.
- Photographs had to be taken. The newspaper had to document and so on.
The marathon began Friday evening, March 26th, 1982.
Many people were at our club that night to encourage and support our efforts.
Officials worked in shifts. The Brockville Country Club provided us with food but after about 24 hours of non-stop curling our appetites diminished although we maintained staying hydrated.
Two chairs shifted from sheet to sheet as we threw all the rocks down on Ice 1 and moved to Ice 2. We gathered the rocks after all 6 sheets where thrown and started firing them back from the far end, shifting those chairs all along.
Fatigue settled in and the mind started to play tricks as our bodies reacted to the changes.
I remember after about 30 hours in that I would throw a rock and then sit down in my chair. Chris would get up, throw his rock and come back and wake me up. I would fall asleep as soon as I sat now. This happened constantly but we supported each other and tried to persevere.
By Sunday morning we were pretty well spent and with only a few hours remaining, a dark shadow of doubt hung thick in the air but with the encouragement of friends and other curling members we finally were able to break the standing record at 12 noon on March 28 to a thunderous applause of many spectators and the press who came out on the ice to cheer us on.
It was so good to finally just stop.
We were too tired to be tired that afternoon and did not sleep right away.
The next three days were harder though trying to get back to routine with our exhausted bodies.
When the dust settled, we had thrown 65,600 pounds of curling stones in 205 ends and were recorded with pictures in the 1983 and 1984 Guinness World Record Book.
We had broken the world record with a recorded 38 hours of marathon curling.
We received a brief mention on the National that night.
A friend of mine mailed me a clipping later from the Vancouver Sun’s column, “According to Guinness,” where there was a cartoon sketch of us sweeping curling rocks although a not a rock was swept during the event.
One thing I do remember, after that I had draw weight down to a science.