Oddly Enough

Undersea ironing record draws press

CANBERRA (Reuters) - A group of 72 Australian scuba divers has flattened the world record for ironing under water, taking the plunge off a pier near the southern city of Melbourne with ironing boards and irons, and their linen.

So-called “extreme ironing” has spawned a cult following in recent years. The Web site espouses it as being the “latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.”

The Australian group, who pipped the previous mark of 70, are seeking entry to the Guinness book of world records after taking their linen into murky, 3-metre-deep (9.8 foot) ocean on Saturday.

“It was cold and I think they were bloody crazy,” local councilor Tom O’Connor, who with police helped authenticate the new record, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Event organizer Debbie Azzopardi said the group eclipsed a 2005 record set in a swimming pool at nearby Geelong, which in turn beat a world mark set in New Zealand.

The irons all had their electrical cords removed for the attempt, which took place in chilly pre-winter seas.

“I was having a chardonnay (wine) a few years ago with a girlfriend and I thought I’m going to beat that. We had a few fish going by and a sting ray. It was great,” Azzopardi said.

Reporting by Rob Taylor, editing by Jeremy Laurence