Here is some easy viewing for you over the Christmas period. I was looking for this video on YouTube, but apparently it had been removed, which is a pity as it is probably of the most viewed feats showcasing arborist techniques.
Back in 2004 Beddes took part at what at that time was one of the most watched game shows on TV, “Wetten, dass…”, which consisted of people submitting bets, which celebrities (well, more or less) then placed wagers upon. Beddes’ offering was that he reckoned that he could footlock 100 meters in five minutes.
The event was set up on the Sony building on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, with Knut taking care of the rigging aloft.
I have embedded the video below. I considered subtitling the video, but ran out of steam – and frankly, the dialogue is not going to win anybody a Pulitzer Prize, you will get the general gist of it, event without any knowledge of German. Or in Beddes’ case, Swabish.
What can I say?
For me this remains a highly memorable moment of modern tree care. The sheer audacity of running up the line, dropping bits every 30 meters, live, on prime time TV? That takes some nerves! Did Beddes train for it? Well, apart from being Beddes… not really, he just reckoned he could do it. In hindsight I cannot help but feel if instead of faffing around dropping the lines they would have done better to lift up the line in a u-shape, keeping the piece below him at a consistent length and weight. This would have probably made the difference. Still, jolly impressive!
That Saturday there was an in-house event at Drayer’s place, a vendor of arb equipment, in the Black Forest. The whole crowd there watched the nail-biting finale… I remember Hubert from ART going absolutely bananas, firing Beddes on! Hell, we were all going bananas! Riveting stuff and good times.
And hey, so much for footlocking not being efficient. Being proficient in any technique makes it appear easy, but getting there requires effort, practice… and talent. Beddes brought plenty of this to the table. Not to mention attitude.