'Usain Bolt' tortoise set to enter record books

Bertie crossing the finishing line Bertie the tortoise "flew down the track"

Related Stories

A tortoise is set to stroll into the record books as the fastest in the world.

The current record has been held since 1977, when one named Charlie travelled 5.48 m (18 ft) in 43.7 seconds.

Bertie, from Adventure Valley in County Durham, has been timed as covering the same distance in 19.59 seconds.

Guinness World Records said it had been informed of the attempt and was awaiting evidence before the record claim could be verified.

The Leopard tortoise was given to the adventure park and farm three years ago when his owners went abroad.

His age is unknown, but Leopard tortoises typically live to 80 - 100 years old.

'Personal best'

The record attempt was on a running track 5,48m (18ft) long and at an incline of 1 in 12, specified by Guinness.

Two sports coaches from Sunderland AFC Foundation of Light officiated and a vet and tortoise specialist were also on hand.

Afterwards, Marco Calzini, from Adventure Valley, said: "Bertie's like the Usain Bolt of the tortoise world.

"The best time he has done in training was 21 seconds but come the big day he flew down the track in a personal best time of 19.59 seconds, setting a new world record."

The previous record was set at the National Tortoise Championship at Tickhill, South Yorkshire, on 2 July 1977.

Guinness World Records said in a statement: "Bertie's owners have been in contact with us.

"They will have to submit evidence for us to review before a record claim can be verified."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

7 °C 6 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    09:24: Give us your feedback

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  2.  
    09:11: Is it really 'grim up north'? Duncan Leatherdale BBC News Online

    In the autumn of 1933, the author and playwright JB Priestley went on a tour of England. His subsequent book, English Journey, is widely blamed for creating the "grim up north" stereotype, but just how much was he to blame for damaging the region's reputation?

    When JB Priestley reached Tyneside, he was already in a foul mood.

    JB Priestley

    Clogged with a cold, dosed up on a daze-inducing medicine and tired of travelling, the 39-year-old openly admitted he just wanted to go home. Read more in my feature.

     
  3.  
    08:59: News on the hour

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

     
  4.  
    08:48: Urgent appeal to save schoolgirl Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Something that is getting a lot of reaction on social media is our story from last night about an urgent UK-wide appeal to save a North East schoolgirl.

    Unless a donor can be found, 14-year-old Chloe Beaney might only have days to live. She has been placed top of the heart transplant waiting list at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

    Chloe Beaney and her parents

    BBC Look North's Sharon Barbour spoke to her parents, Colin and Katrina Wilkinson, and Dr Richard Kirk, the cardiologist involved with her care.

     
  5.  
    08:37: In the news today Northern Echo editor Peter Barron
  6.  
    08:27: Appeal to pay for tickets

    A cinema in Newcastle has appealed for people who recently bought tickets online to pay for them.

    Technical problems with the e-ticketing system used by Tyneside Cinema meant some tickets were issued without payment being taken. It came to light when customers got in touch saying their card statements had shown no record of a charge.

    Tyneside Cinema

    For security reasons, the box office did not keep card details, so it is now relying on people's goodwill.

     
  7.  
    08:20: Man 'left with broken leg for two hours'

    An MP has launched a fierce attack on the North East Ambulance Service after a man was left in the road for two hours after breaking his leg.

    Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North, told the Commons the head of the service is "ignoring" demands for an explanation.

    Health minister Dr Dan Poulter responded: "I'm very sorry to hear about the difficulties experienced. I'm happy to look into those and do what I can. But I would also like to make clear on the record it's because this government has given £15bn more into the NHS during this parliament that we are making sure we're keeping services keep running efficiently through the winter."

     
  8.  
    08:07: Three-vehicle accident Lloyd Watson BBC News

    One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A66 westbound in Middlesbrough between Asda Traffic Lights and Cargo Fleet Interchange because of an accident involving three cars.

    One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A1 southbound in Seaton Burn between Seaton Burn Roundabout and Gosforth Park because of a broken down vehicle. More on BBC Travel News for Teesside and Tyne and Wear.

     
  9.  
    08:04: Dull and overcast Kay Crewdson Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    The day will be dull and overcast across the area with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, and with extensive fog developing across the Pennines.

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 8C (46F). Check the forecast near you.

     
  10.  
    08:00: Good morning Lloyd Watson BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.