Baldwin St ball back in Guinness’ court

Toby Stoff has returned from Wales with data he says backs up his claim that Baldwin St is...
Toby Stoff has returned from Wales with data he says backs up his claim that Baldwin St is steeper then its Welsh rival. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
After months of hard work and a trip to the other side of the world by a Dunedin man, the fate of Dunedin’s world record is in the hands of the powers that be.

Dunedin surveyor Toby Stoff, who has been leading the campaign to restore Baldwin St’s title as the world’s steepest street, has filed a report with Guinness World Records that he believes proves the record should be restored.

The street was dethroned by Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Wales, last July.

Mr Stoff travelled to Harlech late last year to take his own measurements of the street.

Mr Stoff said his report outlined evidence that proved the methodology for determining the record was flawed, and that Baldwin St was actually the steeper of the two.

His argument was that because the record-setting bid was measured on the inside verge of a curve, it greatly exaggerated Ffordd Pen Llech’s steepness and disadvantaged Baldwin St, which is straight.

On average, Baldwin St was 5.2% steeper, his report found.

His view was backed up by letters of support from University of Canterbury College of Engineering Associate Prof Mofreh Saleh and Survey and Spatial New Zealand president Rebecca Strang.

Mr Stoff yesterday said about 40 hours of number crunching had gone into putting the report together.

"It’s been a bit of a munter."

Now it was a case of wait and see.

"I don’t really care how long it takes," he said.

The ultimate hope was that the title would be restored, but even if it only led to a change in methodology for future attempts, "that would be a really good moral victory".



Mr Stoff's commitment and tenacity is to be admired. I can only imagine the amount of work that he has put in to get such detailed findings on both Ffordd Pen Llech and Baldwin Street. Dunedin owes this fulla a wee Guiness or two, whether successful in the ruling or not, good on ya Toby.

you could likely also apply the flawed methodology to a bunch of Dunedin Streets (eg, Buccleugh St) and win

Well done that man!, lets hope we can make the title stick.

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