Stuntman Günter Schachermayr Sets New Wheelie Record On His Vespa
Doing a wheelie is tricky enough, let alone when you're blindfolded and can't breathe.
Austrian stuntman Günter Schachermayr is best known for his tricks aboard his Vespa. While most other stunt riders choose sportbikes or naked bikes decked out in all the bells and whistles that make a stunt bike a stunt bike, Günter keeps things simple with his two-stroke Vespa. His most recent escapade took him to Austria's famed Red Bull Ring, the famous circuit where some of the most thrilling races in MotoGP take place every year.
The stunt in question? A wheelie – but not just any old wheelie. Günter attempted to set a new record of the longest wheelie on a Vespa, while slaloming through 60 cones spread across a quarter-mile distance, all while wearing a sack over his head so he couldn't see nor breathe. Pretty wild, right?
I mean, popping wheelies is difficult enough, let alone on a two-stroke Vespa. On top of that, riding blindfolded while performing a slalom through 60 evenly spaced cones requires otherworldly levels of concentration, and all this is just made even harder by the fact that he could hardly breathe thanks to the sack over his head. To make the whole show even more spectacular, the Vespa's front wheel was removed completely, so it looked like Günter was riding a one-wheeled rubber ducky.
As an added safety precaution, Günter had a crew alongside him during the stunt. Doubling as the camera car, commands transmitted via radio to a headset worn by Günter allowed him to navigate through the cones completely blindfolded. On top of all that, he had to undergo 15 minutes of hyper-oxygenation with medical-grade oxygen just to make sure he wouldn't suffer any long-term injuries as a result of the stunt. In total, it lasted for two minutes and 17 seconds – far longer than the one-and-a-half minute the average human can hold their breath.
When Günter performed the stunt, more than 30,000 people flocked to the Red Bull Ring to witness the action. Now, with yet another record aboard his Vespa in the bag, Günter and his team submitted all the footage, images, and documentation to the Guiness Book of World Records in the U.K.
In an article by Ruetir, Günter was quoted saying, "This black face mask does not let the air through and is tightened by the closure around the neck. After the first 100 meters your ears start to buzz, after 200 meters you struggle to hear the commands that reach you via radio, after 300 meters you can only find your way around and then the fight for survival begins!" He explained that towards the end, he wasn't entirely sure he was going to complete the challenge. "Towards the end I panicked but I made it and I’m thrilled to have set a new world record!”
Congratulations to Günter Schachermayr on this crazy new record. I wonder what this dude has up his sleeve for his next world record attempt.
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