The single darts world record has officially been obliterated in Parklands this weekend – and that’s no bull!
Benjamin van der Merwe (44) and Alwyn Burger (58) duked it out for an unbelievable 60 hours, almost 10 hours longer than the previous record.
Just to put it in perspective, while they were playing, 972 000 people were born and 450 000 tons of chicken eggs were laid.
Some people struggle to stay awake for 24 hours, never mind walking up and down from the throwing line to the board for days and nights.
The two affiliated members of the Western Province Darts Association started on Friday at 06:00 and threw the last dart on Sunday at 18:00.
Parklands’s Burger beat Table View’s Van der Merwe 199 games to 48, playing the darts games known as 501.
According to the venue owner, Karma Bistro’s Marius Wiese, more than 200 people watched the two at one time or another over the weekend.
There were also two officials from the Western Province Darts Association present at any given time to witness and verify the event.
When TygerBurger arrived for the final stretch we were surprised to see how relatively refreshed the two players seemed. The two could rest five minutes for every hour played.
And quite astonishingly, they were still hitting their doubles, trips, bulls, turkeys, top bananas, lipsticks and baby tons (memorising dart terminology would also take approximately 60 hours for laymen).
When Burger was asked if he ever started hallucinating due to fatigue, he laughed.
“That dart board eventually looked terribly big! And a big, black circle surrounded it,” he explains.
What makes Burger’s effort even more remarkable is that he has a prosthetic leg. There were times when his swollen foot protested, but nothing could derail him.
Van der Merwe was just as determined not to give up, even when, at one stage, he couldn’t figure out what he was doing with darts in his hands.
“This morning was a bit difficult. I stood in front of the board and wasn’t sure what I was doing… I couldn’t understand the game… I just totally blanked out,” says van der Merwe, who wears a back brace.
It was his idea to attempt this world record and almost everyone thought it was a crazy idea from the beginning.
His wife Mornette, who slept about six hours between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon, initially thought it was one of her husband’s more stupid ideas.
Burger’s wife Sonet was sure the two were raving mad.
Both of them have since come to the conclusion that their determined husbands deserve all the praise they can get.
According to Wiese, one shouldn’t be fooled by the “refreshed” demeanour the two darts players sported Sunday afternoon.
“This morning at about 04:00 I could see they were really struggling. Someone had to do the scoring for them, because they couldn’t do the math anymore,” he chuckles.
Wiese recorded the whole 60-hour session on CCTV cameras and will be sending the footage to England where the new record will officially be publicised.
Van der Merwe throws a triple 20, which normally brings a smile on the face of any player, but there’s just a blank stare.
Another triple 20, that same blank stare, and he eventually wins the game.
He makes it look easy, and winning a game seems run-of-the-mill to him, which is surprising because he’s “only” won 48.
So why did the two doing this?
“We want to create awareness for darts in the province,” states Burger.
“Very few people choose darts as a sport. They see it more as a pub game. There is so much more to darts than just socialising! Parents should teach their children to play this beautiful sport. By doing this we hope to promote it among all the children in the province,” concludes Burger.