MIDDLETON, NS - Danny Frame successfully flipped the caber 16 times in three minutes July 20 to set a new world record in front of a large home-town crowd during Heart of the Valley Festival.
He got hugs from dozens, but perhaps the ones that meant the most were from his toddler son Wyatt who dashed out on the field after Frame dropped to his knees at the end, and from his father John who gripped Frame fiercely minutes after the record-setting display of strength and skill.
Instead of taking any credit for the unprecedented feat, Frame praised his field crew who scrambled to reposition and stand the cabers upright for him in a pace that had him tossing an 88-pound, 16-foot, six-inch every 10 or 11 seconds. He alternated between two cabers.
Frame actually tossed the caber 17 times with his second-to-last throw failing to flip. He had already set the new record at that point, but with 10 seconds left managed to flip one more as announcer Jim Nickerson and the crowd counted down to zero.
“I always wanted to be in the Guinness Book since I was a kid, and to now do it in front of my family – a lot of family is here – friends, community members, it’s outstanding,” he said minutes after the event.
Things didn’t go quite as planned for the former CFLer’s Guinness World Records bid. The first attempt at the record saw Frame flip the caber twice in 15 seconds but in his third toss the caber broke in two when it hit the ground. Judges stopped everything and a new caber was brought in, the clocks cleared, and the second attempt made.
When the first attempt was called off, Frame walked off the field for several moments while the new caber was weighed in.
Canadian caber toss champions Jamie Peppard and Dirk Bishop judged Frame’s record attempt and official video was taken that, along with all the appropriate paperwork, will be forwarded to officials with Guinness World Records.
Peppard was impressed with Frame’s ability to come back after the caber broke.
“I respect his ability to mentally reset, because when you get amped up to do an event like that and then it goes sideways …, and if you can imagine that caber’s only four weeks old and it broke,” Peppard marveled. “Thank God we had a backup that was a little heavier but it was still in the range. But just to come back from that and reset yourself. He was winded, he seemed like ‘oh my God am I going to be able to get this back together?’ and then he just zoned in.”
Peppard said the field crew shone.
“The crew he had out supporting him, from such a wide variety, right from Chad Weidhass, Cyrus Taylor, Derek Smith, Taggard Rhoddy -- all people he has supported -- circled around and said ‘let’s do it, let’s get this together.’ It was just impressive to see him step back in there. And you know how close it was at the end. It was incredible. Unbelievable,” Peppard said.
Now it’s up to Guinness World Records to look at Frame’s record attempt.
“We had all our people in place, the paperwork is done, weigh-ins are done, everything is videoed, so now we just send it through, and hopefully in October we’ll be able to see his name registered. We’re excited,” said Peppard.
Besides the crowd of hundreds, on hand were a few other locals who were asked to witness to the event – Middleton Mayor Sylvester Atkinson and Middleton Rotarian Michael Fairn.
Frame said the process is long, and necessary.
“To go through the process was lengthy, but when you think of the time Danny has invested in other people – I work with him – it’s easy to invest in him,” Peppard said.
Frame trains at Peppard’s Middleton gym Fitness Experience and is a teacher at Lawrencetown Education Centre working with at-risk youth. Peppard is the principal. Many of Frame’s students were on hand to watch the world record event.
“It’s great for Middleton to have a world record of that nature,” said Atkinson, “and not just a record, but a record that surpasses the previous one by a fairly substantial amount.”
The previous caber toss record was held by Kevin Fast of Ontario who flipped 14 cabers in three minutes back in 2013.
After setting the record, Frame was mobbed by fans, some who’ve followed him from his CFL days, his strongman days, and currently follow him as an international highland games athlete who will be competing in Germany later this year.
Framed signed hats for kids and posed for photos. He got high fives, fist bumps, and more hugs. Numerous people in the crowd had videoed his successful caber toss record as backup if the people at Guinness needed convincing.
At the nearby pavilion a band was performing and a special brew was on tap – ‘Caber Crusher Stout,’ named in Danny Frame’s honour by Lunn’s Mill Beer Company in nearby Lawrencetown.