Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ever heard of Extreme Ironing?

Neither had I until I read a Reuters news report.

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.

I hear you, councilor!

Intrigued, I investigated further. There's an entire Web site devoted to this strange "sport". It seems people carry irons and ironing-boards to the most outlandish places in order to take pictures of themselves ironing. For example, the depth record for extreme ironing is claimed by Louise Trevawas, who claims to have ironed her shirt at a depth of 452 feet in the Blue Hole at the Red Sea resort of Dahab - and got her companion to film it for posterity! (The odd-sounding voices are due to the helium mixture they had to breathe at such depths.)

The "sport" seems popular in the USA as well. It seems that Rowenta have sponsored a series of events and a world championship! Here are two videos, the first taken at various locations in Massachusetts and the second in South Dakota.

Here's a picture of the 2003 winner of the Rowenta extreme ironing championship - ironing his shirt while suspended above a gorge at the Wolfberg Cracks in South Africa.

Even Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame endorses the sport:

Y'know, I've ironed many a shirt in my time . . . but I never, ever considered it to be a sport! The mind boggles . . .



phlegmfatale said...

Well, I'd be more impressed with the underwater ironing if the irons were actually plugged in, thus adding an element of danger. There's no accounting for taste, my mom always says.

Christina RN LMT said...

Thanks, Phlegm, I was wondering about that. Seriously, where's the challenge there?
Next thing you know, there'll be extreme vacuuming, or extreme dishwashing. Yawn.

Peter said...

Phlegm, that's a shocking thing to say! As if they didn't have enough in the way of underwater currents to deal with . . .


phlegmfatale said...

Shocking? I thought you'd say I was all wet!

underwater currents... or suspended over gorges or what have you... It's just that I question the efficacy of ironing with no heat. Those clothes will be just as wrinkled as the dickens when you pull them out of the water in a wad.

HollyB said...

Clearly these people are all wet! They need to work out the wrinkles in their plans.

phlegmfatale said...

You think so, Hols? I just think they're forever blowing bubbles.