With Ducth Captain Ramon Hagelen of Emirates. He took us to Sydney on our last leg.
We did it! We have now circumnavigated the globe via the six inhabited continents faster than anyone else. I travelled with two flying Dutchmen, my friends Ronald Haanstra and Erik de Zwart.
56 hours and 56 minutes in planes and airports to get to Sydney, from Sydney took its toll, and our celebrations commenced with showers. Long showers.
It all started in Australia on January 31 at 13:28 when the 747 in Qantas’ colours started picking up speed on one of the runways of Sydney International Airport. The Australian carrier took us to Santiago, where we would only have 55 minutes between flights before Copa was scheduled to take us to Panama. That Qantas departed 38 minutes late wasn’t exactly promising, but strong tailwind was on our side and we actually landed early in the Chilean capital.
Copa usually lands on time, also in the southernmost country in North America, and we celebrated with beer. Panama Lager. Ronald and I went for the Light version, we did after all have four more flights to go, whereas Erik went all-in and got a bottle of regular Panama Lager. It turns out that Panama Lager has 4.0 % alcohol whereas the light version has 3.8 %.
Iberia took over and got us to Madrid and Algiers. That a woman fainted on board the Panama-Madrid flight made us somewhat uneasy, as chances were we’d have to make an emergency landing to get her medical attention. Luckily she was fine. Emirates got the honours of flying us to Dubai, and then the final leg to Sydney. We landed four minutes ahead of schedule back in Sydney at 22:26, a total of 56 hours and 56 minutes after we had started in the same city. I guess the world must be round, after all. Our budget wouldn’t have allowed private jets, but we wouldn anyhow not have been able to fly much faster. And Guinness World Records only allows scheduled flights anyhow. You can see our exact route here, on a zoomable map.
It did however take two attempts to break the record, as we failed on our first try in June 2017. We then missed our last flight by four minutes.
– Nothing motivates like failure, and we have now undertaken a twice-in-a-lifetime experience. Luckily, this time it was a hundred percent successful and we have thoroughly enjoyed two and a half hectic but epic days of travel around the globe, Erik said.
But why the hell did we do it? I’ll let Ronald answer.
– We did this to have fun, to inspire people to explore the world and to show that even big dreams can come true. Travelling 43,000 kilometers at an average speed of 750 km/h, with loads of good stories thrown in, has made this the ultimate boys’ trip.
And yes, we have compensated for our CO2 emissions.
The current record is held by Michael Quandt from Germany. He used 66 hours, 31 minutes to circumnavigate the globe in 2004. That makes our new record run an improvement of nine hours and 35 minutes, or 14 percent.
Quite a lot faster, in other words. It is as if the mens marathon world record of 2h2m57s would be beaten by over 17 minutes.
Note that the record is still unofficial, as Guinness World Records will have to certify it. We are supplying them with evidence one of the next few days.
We did it! In Sydney International Airport, after having cleared immigration. “Why do you have so little luggage,” they asked.