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Craigyhill bonfire: Who are builders competing with for largest pyre attempt and what are the requirements for Guinness World Record?

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A bonfire towers taller than houses in the Craigyhill area of Larne on July 6, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

A bonfire towers taller than houses in the Craigyhill area of Larne on July 6, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria Credit: Guiness World Records

The Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria Credit: Guiness World Records

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A bonfire towers taller than houses in the Craigyhill area of Larne on July 6, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Larne bonfire builders in Craigyhill are hoping to break the world record of the tallest bonfire, but who are they actually competing with for the unique feat?

The bonfire builders previously smashed the local record after their 2021 ‘Eleventh Night’ effort was named the largest ever built in Northern Ireland.

They have now turned their attention worldwide and it's fair to say there is some stiff competition.

According to the official Guinness World Records the record for the tallest structure currently belongs to the group Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria.

The group achieved the record in March 2019 when they built their mammoth pyre standing at an impressive 198 ft 11 in.

Built in the town of Lustenau, the bonfire is part of the country’s celebration on the first Sunday following Ash Wednesday and the end of the Austrian annual carnival period which has been in place since the Middle Ages.

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Competition also comes from Norway, with the Alesund Midsummer Bonfire the tallest man-built bonfire without the use of machines at 155 ft 5.9 in.

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The Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria Credit: Guiness World Records

The Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria Credit: Guiness World Records

The Hofstalder Funkenzunft Lustenau in Austria Credit: Guiness World Records

It was achieved on June 25, 2016, and took three months to build and the remains of the bonfire burned for two days.

If the Larne bonfire builders are indeed to claim the Guinness World Record, any attempt will have to be officially recorded and verified by the organisation, who have a number of strict rules and criteria.

According to Guinness, all record-breaking attempts require “the presence of completely independent witnesses” on the ground.

They add that any measurement has to be recorded and they require the measurement to be “conducted by a suitably qualified professional in the field” and that logbooks and expert timekeepers are used.


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