ARMED with a deck of cards, a handkerchief and a biscuit, a magician has cleared a space for himself in the pages of the world record books.
Martin Rees, who grew up and began learning his craft in Weymouth, became the Guinness World Record holder for most magic tricks performed in a wind tunnel on Thursday May 7.
At AirKix in Milton Keynes, he battled against winds exceeding 150mph to perform some sleight of hand for an audience of officials and witnesses.
He said: “I was training for this world record attempt to help raise funds for Spread a Smile.
“I couldn’t have imagined all the incredible support I would receive from people.
“Going into the wind tunnel was nerve-wrecking, I was so nervous about making sure I remembered everything I needed to do and staying in the correct position to fly properly.”
Three minutes and eight magic tricks later, the 27 year old emerged from the tunnel a wind-swept record holder.
Independent timekeeper Faye Hickey, a fitness instructor with Nuffield Health, confirmed his success.
Witness statements and footage of the attempt will now be bundled off to Guinness for final validation.
Mr Rees said: “I felt an incredible rush of adrenalin when I realised I had done it.
“Setting this world record has taken a lot of training and practice but it has been worth every minute.
“Thank you to all the team at AirKix who have supported and been a huge help.”
On July 28, he will fall to earth from 12,500ft for a punt at the world record for the most magic tricks performed on a single sky dive.
By taking on these challenges, he hopes to raise £5,000 for the children’s charity Spread a Smile and so far has raised just under £800.
He said: “For over a year I’ve been visiting Great Ormond Street, University College Hospital and Royal London Hospital with Spread a Smile to perform magic tricks for the children who are being treated and cared for there.
“But the real magic is in seeing the children’s reactions and smiles.
“It was this which inspired me to do a sponsored skydive to raise money for the charity.
“At first I had just planned to perform a couple of magic tricks during the skydive, so I could show the kids at the hospitals.
“However, when talking about it with the Spread a Smile team, the idea to try and set a world record was born.”