TWO talented wordsmiths are in for a long night – and day – as they make a bold bid to beat a world Scrabble record.
Scrabble enthusiast Raymond Tate, from Paisley, is having another go at trying to beat the record for the highest score in a 24-hour-long game.
He attempted the challenge last August, along with teacher Siobhan O’Tierney, but the pair failed to beat the existing record of 162,171 points.
Now Raymond has enlisted the help of UK number nine Scrabble player Craig Beevers, who has travelled up from England to take part in a fresh attempt to break the record.
They will start their marathon game at Reid Kerr College at 10am today and won’t stop until the same time tomorrow morning.
A confident Raymond, 55, said: “We’ll hammer it. All going well, we’ll definitely break the record.
“Craig is a former UK Scrabble champion and is currently ranked ninth in the UK and 23rd in the world.
“I know him through Scrabble and went to him with this idea last October.
“We’ve practised already and had some really high-scoring games so, if we can keep that going over 24 hours, then we’ll beat the record no problem.”
Although Raymond, from Foxbar, and Siobhan failed to break the record last year, they did raise a significant sum of cash for the Rotary movement’s End Polio Now campaign.
They also managed to set a new Scottish record by scoring a total of 150,201 points over 208 games.
This time around, the attempt will be streamed live online at www.quipu.tv, on the challenge Facebook page and on the Rotary Club of Paisley’s website.
Through each website, people can click on the JustGiving button to donate to End Polio Now.
Members of Paisley Rotary Club will perform the role of official invigilators of the event, as well as providing the strong coffee and food needed to keep the pair going through the night.
Raymond said: “The Rotary people have been fantastic. They’re going to be invigilating the event and taking photographs of every board so that it’s recorded for the Guiness world record people.
“They’ll also be providing plenty of strong coffee! I’ll probably go outside for some fresh air to keep me awake but, to be honest, the adrenalin keeps you going.”
News of the record attempt has been on Scrabble internet forums around the world, attracting interest from people in America, Australia and Africa.
Raymond said: “I can’t wait to get started as I’m really confident we’ll do it this time.
“To beat the record, we’ll need to use tactics. All the same Scrabble rules will apply but we’ll be trying to get high-score games, rather than just winning each game.
“I’ve been practising all week and am ready for the challenge.”
l To follow Raymond and Craig’s world record attempt live, log on to www.quipu.tv.
You can also donate to their JustGiving site through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com by searching for Paisley Rotary Scrabble Challenge.
Alternatively, visit www.paisleyrotary.org.ukuk