On 25/26 May the popular seafront Fun Park broke the World Record for the Longest Dodgem Car Marathon. The previous record was held by Austrian Sebastian Bösch who went for a spin in Vienna in September 2007 and didn’t get out until 24 hours later.
But now Britain’s Laura Byng has bumped Herr Bosch off the top spot. The 28-year old Southend recruitment consultant has proved women really are much better drivers than blokes, and has raised money for a great cause – Havens Hospices.
Laura is part of driving duo ‘Dotty and the Dice,’ along with 37-year old teacher Cherylanne Saywell. Together they are attempting the Mongol Rally, which will see them undertaking the ultimate road trip of 10,000 miles over 19 countries in 5 weeks in a 1.2 litre engine car in order to raise £10,000 for the Essex charity.
Laura climbed into her Adventure Island dodgem at 9am on Wednesday 25 May, and kept driving until 10am on Thursday 26 May – setting a new record of 25 hours. She was allowed a 5-minute break each hour for food and toilet breaks.
She says “The thing I was most worried about is boredom. But as there had to be two other cars driving at the same time, I was able to chat to them as we whizzed round together. And I took cushions so my bum is not too sore! The worst time was overnight when there was just a few of us in the park – but I just drank loads of Red Bull and listened to talking books on my Ipod to keep my going through the small hours.”
“It was absolutely worth it. This World Record has raised much needed funds and created awareness of the wonderful work Havens Hospices does, and what we are trying to achieve for them. The support that they give to local families in need is invaluable. Anyone wishing to donate or help further can visit our website.”
Adventure Island Chief Executive Philip Miller says “I am absolutely delighted for them – it’s a huge achievement and we are so glad that were have been able to help here at Adventure Island. Havens is a fantastic local charity and we love World Records, so it’s the perfect combination.”
Angela Clements, Community Fundraiser at Havens Hospices says “We are so proud and delighted of what Laura has done for us – we would like to say a big thank you to her and also her back up team of timekeepers, stewards and fellow drivers, plus all the staff at Adventure Island, who helped make this possible.”