Hundreds of leaps into the great unknown

Expat Colin Phillips is preparing to jump off a crane 200 times in a row, this week, in an attempt to break the record for the most bungee jumps made in a 24-hour period.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Colin Phillips, practising for his attempt, in support of Breast cancer Arabia, on the Guinness World Record for the most bungee jumps in 24 hours. Courtesy Colin Phillips
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DUBAI // Going once, going twice, going several hundred times. Expatriate Colin Phillips is preparing to jump off a crane 200 times in a row, this week, in an attempt to break the record for the most bungee jumps made in a 24-hour period.

The 33-year-old fitness coach, from the UK, claims that repeatedly throwing himself from a 100-metre-high platform has less to do with his lack of fear of heights than with getting his name into the Guinness World Records.

Starting at 7pm this Thursday and aiming to end at 7pm the following evening, Mr Phillips will attempt to smash the record of 105 jumps in 24 hours, held by South African Kevin Huntly.

“It’s been a dream since childhood of being in the book,” Mr Phillips said. “I was about five years old when my mother bought me my first Guinness World Records book.

“I’ve always been fascinated with all these weird and wonderful records that have been broken around the world, and I’ve always wanted to have my name in there somewhere.

“Every year I’ve always asked myself the question: ‘What can I do?’ Last year, I decided that it had to be bungee jumping.”

Mr Phillips, a former professional rugby player and sailor, trains twice a day in a gym. He has also climbed Kilimanjaro and run the Dubai Marathon.

In preparation for his challenge Mr Phillips has spent almost every weekend, for more than a year, doing 10 to 15 bungee jumps at Gravity Zone, a venue at Dubai Autodrome, where he will make his attempt on the world record.

The expat has so far clocked up almost 300 jumps and admits that cramming effectively a year’s worth of bungee jumps into a 24-hour period might be a challenge.

“It’s a year’s worth of work in one day, so there’s a risk of injury,” he said. “We’ll have a medic on site monitoring my blood pressure, as well as migraines, dizziness or damage to my spinal column.

“I would say, though, that my body is ready for a higher impact load and a higher volume of jumps.”

Mr Phillips will have a team from the Dubai office of Guinness World Records on hand to supervise his challenge.

Last year, Australian Jay Phoenix bungee jumped 150 times in an effort to set a new record. However, said Mr Phillips, the record was not validated by Guinness because certain parameters, such as the length of the bungee cord, were not within the accrediting body’s guidelines.

Mr Phillips has had three bungee cords made in the UK especially for his weight – 95 kilograms – measuring 20 metres long, with an elasticity of 60 metres.

Bungee jumping is, he said, one of the most addictive adrenalin sports he has tried. He does concede, however, that the thrill might start to wear thin sometime after jump number 100.

“Every time you jump you can have a different experience. You can practice somersaults or different midair moves, just like an Olympic high diver.

“But, inevitably, there will come a point in the challenge where it’s going to take a toll on my enjoyment factor.”