A Valley News Publication

Brent Fraser is the Upper Valley’s record-setting machine

You might remember Lebanon resident Brent Fraser from when he set the world record for using one’s mouth to catch a grape dropped from the greatest height, using a hot air balloon and a team of his coworker-engineer-friends to get the job done.

(Oh, no, you don’t remember that? Well, it was one of my all-time favorite stories to write and videos to produce, so here you go!) 

Brent recorded his second grape-related record in September and was back at it on Storrs Hill Road in Lebanon this past weekend, attempting to set yet another Guinness World Record. And this time, instead of oddly over-sized fruits, it was a baseball. Here’s his report:

I broke my third Guinness World Record (on Sunday) by breaking the previous record of 597 feet by catching the baseball at 629 feet, 8 inches. I attached a picture of my crew in front of the launcher just to show how big the machine was.

Guinness has to review Brent’s submission before it’s ~officially official~ by their standards, but the whole thing is SUPER COOL and good to go in our book.

Here’s some pics he shared; thanks, Brent!

Brent Fraser. (Courtesy photograph)

Brent out for the catch. (Courtesy photograph)

Launch pad. (Courtesy photograph)

The launcher! (Courtesy photograph)


It’s official: Strafford students’ marble run was a world record-setter

Newton School teacher Eric Walker holds the record-setting marble aloft after it ran over 1.5 miles in a tube along Route 132 in Strafford, Vt., on Mary 13, 2017, setting a world record on May 13, 2017. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Back in May, a group of students, teachers and parents known as Team Marbleous attempted the world record for longest marble run by sending a marble through hundreds of feet of blue maple sap tubing down Sharon Hill.

(Read about their attempt here; video below.)

Parent Dustin Ray said he recently got word that the attempt was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest marble run at the time, and they will be getting a certificate soon. Woop woop!

According to Guinness Public Relations Coordinator Sofía Rocher, who I spoke to over email today, another team from Switzerland recently surpassed Strafford’s record — Team Marbleous hit 8,650 feet on May 13, and the Switzerland team got 9,379 feet on Sept. 1 — but Strafford will always be No. 1 in our hearts. Maybe motivation for another attempt? 😉

Plus, beyond the record itself, the students learned a lot about teamwork and overcoming obstacles.

Go Team Marbleous!

RELATED: Upper Valley man goes for grape-catching Guinness record … again! … but without the hot air balloon this time

Upper Valley man goes for grape-catching Guinness record … again! … but without the hot air balloon this time

Brent Fraser after setting what he believes is a new world record for catching a grape in his mouth that was launched from the greatest distance on Aug. 30 at Sachem Field in Hanover, N.H. (Photo courtesy – Brent Fraser)


Remember Brent Fraser?



He’s the Lebanon resident who I reported on with photographer Sarah Priestap last fall, when he set a Guinness World Record for using your mouth to catch a grape dropped from the greatest height:

It was a dream years in the making, and all it took was a hot air balloon, walnut-sized fruits shipped specially from Georgia and a crew of Ph.D.-level engineers who gathered at a tiny Vermont airport before the sun rose on Monday morning.

Yep, I wrote that.



He later got a certificate from Guinness. But the man is insatiable when it comes to catching grapes in his mouth from absurd distances, so he recently made two additional record-setting attempts.

The first time, in mid-August, he tried to double the height record, but it didn’t go so great. From Brent, via email:

The height one was crazy painful. The grapes were getting dropped from around 225 feet and hit terminal velocity of between 74 and 78 miles an hour. I made an attempt at several of the grapes but due to the wind and the speed of the grapes, we called it off.

So last Wednesday, he tried again, this time going for the distance record, which he had missed when Sarah and I were there. A team launched grapes from a wooden catapult designed by engineers that Brent works with at Creare, a Hanover firm.

This time, Brent says, he was successful! Assuming Guinness verifies the record, he will get another certificate in the mail sometime soon.

Brent again:

My official measurement was 356’ 1”. … I couldn’t be more excited to be a two-time Guinness World Record holder now. This distance record stood for eight years and has always been my primary goal to beat one day.

BTW, if you’re into Upper Valley Guinness stories and videos, you might enjoy this one about Strafford kids going for a world-record marble run.

And last but not least, here are more photos from the successful attempt, all courtesy of Brent. Click “more…” at the end to see all of them.


Missed grape.

Marking the catch spot.

Checking the damage.

Teamwork makes the dream work.