New Guinness World Record set in Vaalwater

VAALWATER – One of the planet’s most dangerous Guinness World Records was taken by two South Africans in the Limpopo Province town of Vaalwater last Friday evening (August 10).

Photographer Enrico Schoeman (55) and motorsport journalist Andre’de Kock (58) rode their Kawasaki powered Australian sidecar through a fire tunnel of 103,9 metres in the main road between Vaalwater and Ellisras, which was closed for the occasion.

The previous Guinness record for riding a motorcycle through a fire tunnel was held by Indian Superbike rider Shabir Ahluwalia, at a distance of 68,49 metres. He set the record in Mumbai, India, on March 13, 2011.

“We have been obsessed with this fire tunnel project for the last two years, always saying that we would stop when we reach a distance of 100 metres. That is now the case, and I am stopping, while I still walk upright,”De Kock said.

The South African team’s latest fire tunnel was constructed by Khalanga Engineering technicians, who constructed the structure from square steel tubing, draped in several layers of Lothlorien cardboard. It was then doused in diesel and petrol, and set alight via a series of pyrotechnic explosions. Once it was properly alight, the record pairing rode through the ensuing inferno. Both riders and their motorcycle caught fire in the process.

“Before we were halfway, I could feel I was burning, while the motorcycle was on fire, full scale,”said Schoeman later.

Ï just kept the throttle open, aiming in the direction where I could last see the white line on the road,” he added. “I could see absolutely nothing but flames, and I hoped like hell we were pointing in the right direction,” said De Kock.

“As we finally exited, the night sky was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen,”he added.

Both riders suffered slight burns, while the plastic bits on their crash helmets melted.

Proof of the record will be submitted to Guinness in London this week for official ratification.