Insight & Analysis

Stinging medals

Published: Aug 2019

When it comes to world records, you’d typically think of the fastest, the strongest or the fittest. You wouldn’t throw the feat of eating the most stinging nettles in an hour into the mix, would you?

Taking place at the Bottle Inn in Bridport, Dorset, this year’s World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship saw more than 100 spectators enjoying the bizarre event. After an hour of scoffing down these painful plants, Tony Jeyes and Linda Rogers were crowned champions in the mens’ and womens’ categories, consuming 18 metres and 13 metres respectively.

Linda said her win in the female category was because of her unique technique. “I had a nice glass of pear and apple cider which I dunked the rolled-up leaves in to make them more moist and easier to go down,” she said after the competition.

However, Tony’s feat of eating 18 metres of the plant didn’t even break the world record, because watching on was Phil Thorne (yes, that is his real name), who holds the record for the event – having made his way through 31 metres of stinging nettles back in 2014. He chose not take part in this year’s competition – wonder why!

The competition has been held at The Bottle Inn since the 1980s and is thought to have come about after two local farmers argued over who grew the longest nettle stalk. It’s claimed one of the farmers boasted he would eat the nettle on any stalk longer than his.

The competition has morphed over time, and this year’s was the 23rd edition of an event that has seen competitors from around the world, including Australia, take part.

After taking part in this bizarre event, every participant is certainly more bud-weiser.

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