And yes, you were supposed to read that last bit in Jeremy Clarkson’s voice.
If however, you do not know, here’s the nutshell:
- BraaiBoy has been braaing for about 3,5 years, non stop, every day.
- These braais are documented on his FB page and mused over on his blog.
- He has made several celebrity braaipearances. Yes, that’s a word.
- Pre-attempt, the record was set on 32 hours.
- On 23-25 (technically 26) August 2012, BraaiBoy set the new record at a whopping 62 hours, 6 minutes and 16 seconds.
- BraaiBoy is ancient Icelandic for “Crazy man with underwear on the wrong side who likes toe play/work/talk to fire”. (Citation needed)
You can check out more and all of the details at his website: www.braaiboy.co.za
Now, here’s a bit of the behind the scenes stuff you didn’t read on other blogs.
I met BraaiBoy (aka, Gareth Daniel. But screw it, I call him BraaiBoy, so can you) about 2 years ago at a tweetup. Yes ladies and gents, awesome hook-ups happen at tweet ups, so get your ass on twitter if you have not yet done so. My first words to the dude walking into Livingstones in Hatfield, wearing a black shirt with green “Born To Braai” on the front, was “Dude, are you BraaiBoy? I’m a huge fan”.
Now, I don’t generally get all groupie-like when I meet famous people. It is, after all, a big part of my job to tolerate celebrities. But this was The BraaiBoy. This, was different.
You can therefore imagine my shock, awe and smile inducing pride when he replied “Yes, I am.. Are you BaasDeBeer? I love your tweets!”
That night we talked and laughed and drank and… well, let’s just call it the birth of a friendship.
Life went on, as it generally does, and the more I kuiered and braaid with BraaiBoy, the more he started sharing ideas and dreams with me. From silly ones (seriously, braaing on the moon might be a bit of a stretch) to more awesome ones (being the official Braai Master of the Put Fut Rally was quite a biggie). The biggest one, hoewever, was when he told me he wanted to break the record for the longest continuous braai… in the world. (I can’t help it, Clarkson would be proud)
From there we planned and schemed, I lost admin and cheered him on. Yes, admin is not my strongest point. Finally, after moving the date around so much that I figured we were going to have to invent a new month to do it in, the date was fixed. End of September 2012.
Yeah, right. When has any braai ever happened exactly when you planned it?
The awesome main sponsors of the event, Spar & Deli Spices agreed that instead of having a separate big event for the braai, we should combine it coinciding with Jacaranda FM’s big day that was already Spar-sponsored and held at Supersport Park. So NOW, the final date was set: 23-25 August 2012.
This news broke just days before Oppikoppi. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to… go have an awesome Oppikoppi experience. After Koppi, we squeezed in so much last-minute planning, we actually finished some of it only in the first day of the record attempt.
The Record Days
Day 1 was quite easy. I got up at 4am (not as much fun as you might think it would be, especially after only getting to bed at 2am (I blame Aandklas’ quiz night for that). the start of the record was delayed by 51 minutes, seeing as 2 out of every 3 cars in the vicinity of Pretoria/Centurion decided to get into an accident that morning. Everyone was late. For everything.
I still remember listening to the interview Alex Caige had on TuksFM at 8:30, the anxious wait for the witnesses and time-keepers to get there, and BraaiBoy to run and take his last pee before The Clock Started.
I spent quite some time setting up a 20hour long playlist (you can not have a braai without some rocking tunes), Deli Spices spiced things up, Spar kept the cold-drink and meat coming and people started pouring in to witness this crazy man in a red suit doing something extraordinary.
In the end, day 1 was a breeze. Unfortunately, by 3am the next morning, the actual breeze picked up a bit, and we froze to death.
Logically, we had a few crazies there to jam silly songs on the guitar. The legends from WatKykJy actually streamed some of it live on interwebsradio.
Day 2 was a Friday, and as such, more people joined us earlier in the afternoon. Wors, tjops, steak, ribs and rashers were popping onto and off the fire every 20 minutes, so everyone got at least a mouth full of meat. And no, that last sentence wasn’t lewd (at least not as much as the previous nights songs).
That night, I quickly had to pop over to another event to be the Mr MC man. My friends and colleagues from Activation Media as well as the guys from Deli Spices kept on doing what they were doing for close on 2 days now: Keep the flow of things going, and keep BraaiBoy awake. Not that the man seemed to need too much help with that. The fans, media and curious randoms kept pouring in, everyone trying to find 2 minutes to chat to the man of the moment. It was only later that night, as I got back that BraaiBoy suffered a bit of a setback. He managed to swallow an entire cheese-grater and a chainsaw. At least, that’s how he sounded. His throat was sore, and the fact that he entered into this record with a flu-guillotine hanging over his neck didn’t exactly help. Off we rushed to find pineapples. And honey. And random stuff for him to swallow. From bystanders to random people on twitter chipped in with advice and, well, throat stuff.
After a slightly less freezing night (we didn’t need to be resurrected but the sun, only slightly thawed) we got an awesome reminder that other people were at other parties, when shortly after 5am a bunch of friends I made at the Attrition events popped in after a night partying (I think at Zeplins). Coffee made the rounds and a lady from twitter pitched with more pineapple for BraaiBoy.
By now, news had spread and from the early morning, more and more people poured in. Later on, there were literally thousands and thousands of people. Ok, so this might have had something to do with the huge Spar Ladies funrun challenge happening there that day, but I choose to believe it was all because of BraaiBoy.
So far everything was going good. I was pulling some amps there (as was BraaiBoy, but he’ll never admit it). To tell you the truth, sleep-deprivation has a weird drug-like effect on a person. Ask me if you would like to know more (like how weird it felt to not be able to read).
It was in this time, about 16:30, that the official Guinness World Records judge arrived, and upon inspection found that everything so far seems to be in order. That was good news. Now Braaiboy (and of course us, his crew) just had to keep doing what we were doing, not mess it up, and he would reach his target.
Saturday night, festivities of the day done and most of the people gone, I was blown away to see how many people parked there, in front of BraaiBoy’s taped-off area, supporting him every step through the last few hours.
Finally, just before 22:00, BraaiBoy reached 60 hours! That was his target, that was his mission, and that was… well, not the end.
You see, when have you ever been to a braai that finished on time?
BraaiBoy decided to push on to 00:00. The logic behind it was simple: Seeing as he braais every day, he might just as well put his last meat on the fire just after midnight and work in Sunday’s braai. That way he could sleep the entire Sunday, and not have to get up to braai.
In the end, shortly after 00:00, BraaiBoy, now a legend, removed his last meat from the fire.
The crowd went wild. Bottles and bottles of Lovoka And Cactus Jack (thanx for the sponsor guys) did the rounds, speeches were made, and BraaiBoy got a certificate.
After BraaiBoy and his wife Vanessa left, and we packed up most of the stuff, I took a moment (now freakishly awake) to just sit there and reflect. I realised then that to a lot of people this entire experience might have been foolish. Many people might not get it. Why would one man decide to do such a thing? Why would name- and face-less individuals back him in his venture. Why would camera crews and corporate sponsors slave away while a dude in a red suit is staying awake to, in essence, cook food?
Then I realised, in that moment of tranquil, sleep deprived, awesome inner peace and untainted thinking:
Because it’s F#ck!ng awesome, that’s why!
Congrats to Braaiboy for showing us all that it can be done. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your dream. Who knows, maybe we should do that moon-trip next?
Thanx from my side to all the sponsors, helpers, time-keepers, witnesses, crew and random people who pitched to party and stayed to help.
A big thank you to all the friends, fans and supporters who made the days more interesting.
And last, but not least, thanx to all the cows. You were delicious.
Some stats for your enjoyment:
Not drunk, just tired:
For more awesome videos, such as BraaiBoy and his dubious dental hygiene, as well as all the record breaking and such, go check out his YouTube Channel