Round-world record row

Published: 19 August 2005

Statement on behalf of Kevin and Julia Sanders

Nick Sanders: ‘world record’ – or world record imagination?

So, Nick Sanders is claiming an unofficial ‘world record’ for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe. On Nick’s official website, his HQ and PR machine are already claiming that a 20-day journey, which has taken nearly three months, is a new world record – unofficial, of course (Guinness no longer recognise speed-related record attempts).

Doubtless, what Nick has achieved is remarkable, but not as remarkable as the record he seems determined to undermine.

When Kevin and Julia Sanders achieved their official Guinness World Record they rode non-stop (two-up) and obtained proof of their ride in the form of witness signatures, time and date stamping and photographs. They had to comply with stringent Guinness requirements and no matter what problems they encountered, the clock continued to tick.

The disadvantage of continuous riding for long periods each day is that it gradually builds an accumulative fatigue factor, especially as only four (or less) hours sleep can be snatched before getting back on the bike – day after successive day.

In Nick’s case, his ride has been accomplished in ‘bite-size’ chunks with long periods (days) of recuperation. The gaps in his ‘world record’ attempt diary are somewhat convenient, to say the least. Still, I’m sure he will be able corroborate this unofficial ‘world record’ with the kind of proof his namesakes had to obtain – won’t he?

Nick is in danger of devaluing his own ride. To gain even a smidgen of respectability for his unarguably epic journey, he needs to prove he has competed on a level playing field and stop denigrating Kevin and Julia Sanders astonishing achievement by saying he choose a more difficult route. Really? Why?

Comparing Nick’s ride with the official Guinness World Record is like trying to compare a Big Mac to prime fillet. The quality is simply not there.

And neither is the record – unofficial or otherwise.

A bitter row is erupting over who is the true holder of the world record for the fastest lap of the planet by motorcycle.

And we’re asking you to help decide who has the best claim (see below).

Round the world R1 rider Nick Sanders claims his recent 19 day and 3 hours time sets a new record. His motorbike journey is about to be broadcast as a new series on Men and Motors.

But a spokesman for BMW-riding rivals Kevin and Julia Sanders (who are not related to Nick) says they remain the official bike Guinness World Record holders - in 19 days and 8 hours.

And they have angrily disputed Nick’s claims, saying what Nick has achieved is “remarkable, but not as remarkable as the record he seems determined to undermine.”

In a statement headed: “world record – or world record imagination?”, Kevin and Julia say Nick’s ride was broken into ‘bite-sized chunks’ with ‘days in between’ and lasted more than two months in total. Theirs was non-stop – and all the tougher for it.

Their spokesman said: “ Comparing Nick’s ride with the official Guinness World Record is like trying to compare a Big Mac to prime fillet. The quality is simply not there. And neither is the record – unofficial or otherwise."

See page two for the statement in full.

Nick has been unable to make his record an official Guinness one as Guinness no longer recognises speed related round-the-world attempts.

He said: ""I think it's a shame these people can't bring themselves to congratulate me on getting the record, convincingly, safely, alone and on a harder route that included India.

"Had I not had to make a film, I would have knocked off another 2 days. I've been involved with the Guinness Book of Records for 25 years so I think I do know what constitutes appropriate acreditation. More importantly, projects like this show how safe a motorcycle can be and really do help to counterweight against damaging legislation. I applaud anyone who can bike around the world and I look forward to someone having a go at my record, and good luck to them, I'll be the first to pat them on their back."

His six-part series starts on Men and Motors on October 21.

Judge for yourself

Check out Kevin and Julia’s record here:

Check out Nick’s claims here:

Post your verdict through the related topic link, right

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