RECORD BREAKING: Greg Purvis, Steve Hockman, Leannda Dierke, Ranger Nick.
RECORD BREAKING: Greg Purvis, Steve Hockman, Leannda Dierke, Ranger Nick. Lucy Rutherford

Small town ecstatic after baking world record

CHARLEVILLE rose to the challenge on Saturday at the World's Longest Damper Attempt, cooking 153.002m of damper to reclaim the world record from a Swedish scout troupe who cooked a 125m loaf in 2006.

Hundreds of people from all over Australia turned up to the Charleville Fishing & Restocking Club to get their hands dirty and be part of the significant milestone.

Friends Henry Turk, Deb Turk, Carol Underwood, Glen Bound and Chris Vanroon travelled all the way from the Gold Coast to take part in the world record attempt, all while decked out in colourful aprons and chef's hats.

"I saw it on Facebook and said thought it would be a great getaway for us a group,” Ms Underwood said.

"We've been here before and loved the place. Everyone is so beautiful here, we just love the western vibe.”

Ranger Nick led the day, with Steve Hockam using his new-found expertise to ensure the coals were hot enough so the damper was cooked at the optimum temperature.

"When Steve called with the idea of making the longest damper, he had no idea where even to begin and hung on to every word I said and put so much energy, maths and science into achieving what he did,” Ranger Nick said.

"I've certainly never done anything to this scale and it certainly involved a different technique and different way to control the heat.

"We were all over it like stink on a monkey.”

Organiser and founder of Chef's Choice Charcoal, Leannda Dierke said the day wouldn't have been possible without the large amount of community involvement.

"It wouldn't have been a success without Chef's Choice Charcoal, Michael Young who donated the bread tin we used, Ranger Nick who passed on some techniques to Steve Hockam who then went above and beyond in learning how to cook a damper on such a large scale,” she said.

"It's pretty amazing to see someone like Steve who had never cooked damper before in his life, to now having a world record. It just shows the amount of work he put in.

"I can't believe it's done, but if anyone tries to take it off us, we'll have another go.”

A building product from Young's Welding Works was used to cook the enormous sized damper, which was lifted into a trench of hot coals to cook before being drenched in syrup and devoured by hungry participants.

"This is our town, we all live here and raise our families here. if we're going to have a community event, let's all rally behind it,” Mr Young said.

"The event spread like wildfire and people have planned their trip around coming to this event and it's been made even better by the fact we've now got the record back.”

Everything has been documented and will now be submitted to the Guinness Book of Records for approval.


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