SA man set to break ‘pole-sitting’ record

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An areal view shows Vernon Kruger, 52, gesturing while standing in a barrel at the top of a pole 25 metres above the ground in Dullstroom on January 16, 2020. - Vernon Kruger is about to break a Guinness World record set by himself in 1997 where he sat ìon poleî for 54 days. He started his new attempt on November 14, 2019 and by January 20, 2020 Kruger will reach his goal of spending 64 days sitting ìon poleî. (Photo by ANTOINE DEMAISON / AFP)
An areal view shows Vernon Kruger, 52, gesturing while standing in a barrel at the top of a pole 25 metres above the ground in Dullstroom on January 16, 2020. – Vernon Kruger is about to break a Guinness World record set by himself in 1997 where he sat ìon poleî for 54 days.
He started his new attempt on November 14, 2019 and by January 20, 2020 Kruger will reach his goal of spending 64 days sitting ìon poleî. (Photo by ANTOINE DEMAISON / AFP)

Vernon Kruger has been sitting in a barrel suspended 25 metres above ground for more than two months.  

Overlooking the South African town of Dullstroom, the 52-year old is about to break a Guinness World record… set by himself in 1997.

“Sleeping in this barrel is not very easy,” said Kruger, who usually works as a diver.

“It’s a very small place to curl up in and I have to lie in a foetal position.” 

Kruger’s “home is the sky” is equipped with a drainage system for “all the waste”.

He has been washing twice a week in a small basin and surviving on food hoisted up by his team in a wicker basket.

The idea first sprung to his mind whilst climbing a palm tree on an island during a vacation.

“Somebody said… why don’t you break the record for sitting in a tree? First it was a joke and then I got it dare from my friends to actually do it,” said Kruger.

After a bit of research, however, Kruger discovered that a man from Indonesia had already broken the record by sitting in a tree for 28 days.

He scrapped the idea and one of his friends suggested “pole-sitting”.

“The record was 54 days then,” said Kruger, who decided to take on the challenge and sat “on pole” for 64 days.

Despite the cramps and back pains, Kruger repeated the experience more than two decades later.

“It does get a bit frustrating up here especially because I can’t do many things for myself,” he admitted. “I need to rely on other people for absolutely everything.”

By Monday, Kruger will have spent 67 days in his barrel. 

And to his team’s dismay, he plans to stay more.

“Vernon is not coming down when he breaks his record,” said organiser Fiona Jones. “He’s going to stay a little longer.” 

“We’re concerned,” she added. “Because we’ve got to get him down.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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