Vernon Kruger has been in a barrel on the top of a pole for more than two months, breaking the record he set in 1997.
Dullstroom, South Africa (22 January 2020) – Vernon Kruger has been sitting in a barrel, suspended 25 meters above the ground for more than two months, to break his own world record and set a new one that no one else will be able to beat in the future.
Overlooking the beautiful South African town of Dullstroom, the 52-year old celebrated the fact that he had just broken a Guinness World Record on Monday the 20th of January 2020… a record he previously set by himself in 1997!
“I’m fed up, I’ve had enough,” Kruger said from his perch in the sky where he had been crammed for 67 days. But still, he has no plans to come down just yet.
“I’ve got to set the bar higher for the next guy, though I imagine that is probably going to be me.”
In 1997, the then 29-year-old spent 67 days in a 500-litre wine barrel, mounted onto a pole in the little town of Dullstroom, breaking the original Guinness World Record of 54 days of sitting above the sky suspended by a pole.
Kruger’s attempt created massive headlines all over the world! American radio and television personality Howard Stern, even phoned Vernon while he was in the barrel – connected with a Telkom Landline at the time – to encourage and congratulate him.
And in the last 22 years, big names have tried to beat the South Africans record but failed to do so!
In 2003, US Illusionist David Blaine sought recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for his attempt to live in a clear 2x2x1 meter box while dangling over the River Thames in London. But Guinness’s keeper of records, Stewart Newport acknowledged Vernon’s record trumped that of Mr Blaine, and he has continued to hold that title since setting it in 1997.
Despite the cramps, back pains and discomfort, Kruger decided to repeat the experience more than two decades later in an attempt to break his own record and set a new one that no one else will be able to beat in the future.
“I have broken my own record now – 22 years ago I broke it, it was a British record, of 54 days. I took it to 67 [days], and this time I’m going to try to push it to about 80.”
He said it was “not too lonely,” adding that: “This time we have social media, so I feel more connected.”
Kruger has been washing twice a week in a small basin and surviving on food hoisted up by his team in a wicker basket and his “home in the sky” is also equipped with a drainage system for “all the waste”.
Asked what advice he would pass on to anyone thinking of taking on his record, he said: “I think people must be mentally prepared. The previous time I was much younger, and it was more of a physical problem, but this time it’s more of a mental challenge.
“Once you are up, you can’t go down, and you are not allowed, visitors.”
He admitted earlier in the challenge was an anticlimax this time around, with his wife and children staying at home on the other side of South Africa.
Take a look at some of the photos below:
Good Things Guy will be following the story as we continue to celebrate South Africans – like Vernon Kruger – doing good things while flying our flag!