Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bajan records

No early play yesterday between Australia and Bangladesh forced me to accept an invitation to attend the Barbados Guinness World Records Festival.

And what a memorable day. Not for the records but for the sheer enthusiasm of the Barbadians. In fact, the island holds two world records: the brilliantly-named Omar Cheeseman for the fastest time to eat a 12" pizza and someone else for the most bullseyes in a minute on a darts board.

I turned up to meet the organiser, Q Seely, and immediately held him responsible for the enthusiasm. He told me about some of the Bajan customs which have been lost over time. These included walking to the shops backwards or crawling barefoot and walking on tin cans with string. These records weren't broken on the day (some guy from Belgium can walk backwards the quickest) but I did see one world record in the human jockey race. Q was quick to whip up the crowd by pointing at me and shouting into the microphone: "Who believes a Barbadian can break the record currently held by an Englishman?" The flat-footed winners duely shattered the record by three seconds.

I was primarily there to flog some footage of the world record pizza attempt. However, I was informed that the holder, Mr Cheeseman, had trouble with the ovens that morning and couldn't create his dough. Q did also tell me deadpan that he had 12 outlets around the island.