A new Guinness Book of World Records was released this week, filled with the world's longest, fastest, biggest, smallest, most prolific and most substantial. Included among this compelling compendium of the world's greatest are a handful of Marylanders -- although (sadly) Ocean City is not included; Last month, it fell a few hundred two-pieces short in its attempt to establish a world record for most participants in a bikini parade.
Ridgely's Chad Elchin, for instance, has reigned for 11 years as the record holder for most consecutive loops with a hang glider. On July 16, 2001, at Ridgely's Highland Aerosports flight park, he looped an astonishing (and undoubtedly dizzying) 95 times, over a span of some 15,000 feet.
Equally at the top of his game is Jim DeChamp of Harwood, who for nearly four years, has held the record for the longest motorcycle front flip. On Nov. 17, 2008, in Salt Lake City, DeChamp flipped an astounding 47 feet 8 inches. His accomplishment was telecast as part of MTV's "Nitro Circus" show.
And then there's Baltimore's own Paul Rabil, a relative newcomer to the world's-greatest stage, who holds the record for fastest lacrosse shot. On July 8, 2010, according to Guinness, Rabil fired a ball 111 miles per hour during the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game's Fastest Shot competition in Boston. Not that such a blistering shot was anything new for Rabil, an All-American at Johns Hopkins who plays for the MLL's Boston Cannons. He'd fired an identically speedy shot during the same competition in 2009.
"It's pretty cool," Rabil says of being included in such record-setting company. "It's great to be a part of it." Rabil, who played four seasons at Hopkins after graduating from DeMatha High, says he remembers both blazing-beyond-precedent shots well. "It was good to set the record," he says, "and then to prove to everyone it wasn't a fluke the next year."
As for topping his feat – oomphing the ball up to, say, 112 mph – Rabil says he's in no hurry. "I'm waiting to see if the record gets broken," he says, before trying to improve on it.
[Image at top is not of Paul Rabil's record-breaking shot. It was taken at June 23, 2012 Boston Cannons game.]