by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com
Daredevils love to do daredeviling stuff, that’s a fact. It doesn’t make any of these impressive feats less impressive.
It’s that time of the year again, when the Guinness Book of World Records comes out. The 2021 edition was announced the other day and, with the announcement came a brief presentation of some of the new record holders. All of them are amazing in their own right, but not a single one is more relevant to us than one Marco George from the UK, a 31-year-old man who currently holds the record for the fastest speed on a motorcycle while performing a headstand or handstand.
To be clear, Marco set this record last year, on August 17, in Elvington, the UK. He hails from Hampshire and is a stuntman by profession, having done work on TV and movies, and even put in an appearance on ITV’s hit televised competition Britain’s Got Talent. Marco has been stunt riding since 2014, so he has plenty of experience.
However, training for the Guinness record was an entirely different kettle of fish, as the Brits like to say. He got the idea for it when he was young, reading the Guinness books. Like most kids, he too dreamed of one day being the fastest or toughest or generally bestest, so he could have his name jotted down in the history books.
In 2017, Marco added headstands to his stunt competition routines, and this is how he came up with the idea of trying for a record. It would be nearly three years of planning and working hard, and seven full months of intensive training before he was able to set the record, breaking the previous one by double the speed.
Even for someone like Marco, who defies death on the regular as a profession, this was no easy achievement. He trained with his father (stunt riding runs in their blood, and both his father and grandfather were in the business), focusing on the record attempt with such dedication that everything else faded into the background. He worked on getting a strong core, so his body could stand upright on the bike against strong winds, on balance and timing.
Marco’s attempt was possible through his partnership with Straightliners, which helps facilitate land speed records.
On the day of the attempt, it seemed like the odds were against him. He had to get a new helmet, because the one he had didn’t meet safety regulations, and this resulted in a few failed runs. The wind was heavier than they’d expected, so that too posed challenges.
Then, as Marco just went with it, he topped 76 mph (122.3 kph) on his Honda, even though he’d promised his mother he wouldn’t dare go over 70 or else she’d kill him. His exact speed was 76.17 mph (122.59 kph) and this landed him his own chapter in the Guinness Book.
Now that he doubled the previous record of a headstand on a speeding motorcycle, Marco is looking for new challenges. He tells Guinness he’d be open to the idea of a contender to the title, so they could go against one another and top that speed. He’s also thinking about attempting to break Dave Coates’ record of fastest speed while riding a motorcycle backwards 151.7 mph (244.1 kph) and Gary Rothwell’s record for the fastest speed dragged behind a motorcycle, but has no concrete plans in this direction right now. If he does, he’s not disclosing them just yet.
Guinness notes that, during lockdown this year, Marco has been giving his body some well-deserved rest. Meanwhile, he’s promoting fellow stunt riders on his YouTube channel: for instance, on August 15, 2020, Jonny Davies set a new World Record for the fastest High Chair Wheelie at 109.2 mph (175.7 kph).
Here is the video with Marco’s record-breaking headstand and a bit more from him on what it means to have been able to turn a childhood dream into reality with it.