Red Bull. New Years. No Limits. Riders Jump into the Record Book


Soaring to two new worlds records, LaVallee and Maddison complete their jumps in San Diego.

Richard Kontas, Staff Photographer

More than a year of intense planning and preparation all boiled down to less than 15 seconds of high (pun intended) drama.

For extreme action sports stars Levi LaVallee and Robbie Maddison it was the proverbial moment of truth as they both flew well over 300 feet of water and rocks to land in the record books as the New Year was ushered in on Dec. 31, at Embarcadero Park in San Diego.

The Red Bull New Year’s No Limits event takes place annually, when everything goes right, and showcases some sort of incredible feat by one (or more) athletes. Last year’s event which was scheduled to feature LaVallee going solo on his 450 pound snowmobile making the same jump here in San Diego was called off when he suffered multiple injuries during a practice run.

Slideshow credit: Richard Kontas

So to up the ante this year they added Maddison on a dirt bike to ride side-by-side with him in this dual attempt to both break and set new records.

LaVallee, 29, made his big comeback as he crushed his certified world record of 361 feet by more than 50 feet, with a distance of 412 feet 6 inches. Maddison, 30, also broke his existing world record of 351 feet 3 inches, nailing a jump of 378 feet 9 inches.

The fog had been visible since late afternoon – however, as it was rolling in and out, most remained hopefull that it wouldn’t be a big factor in the event.

As it turned out it was so thick prior to the jump that Levi and Robbie had questioned just how bad it would be before a cancellation would be in order. In the Red Bull ““Behind the Scenes of Levi and Maddo’s Big Jump” video Robbie is asking what would be the cut off point … to which Levi replies “I say if we can see the landing from the jump … at least we know where we’re going then.”

And so it was to be a dual jump, at speeds over 100 MPH into a foggy haze at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.

Video courtesy of Red Bull.

It was when the fog came in the disadvantage was apparent – truth be told there was no single point anyone could have been with a complete jump view unobstructed by either the elements or the ramp.

Now for all the time, planning and money spent on this annual event you’d think Red Bull would have a plan B for the possible fog factor – if there is such a thing as fog disbursal technology – apparently it wasn’t meant to be this year. Hey, it’s easy to be Devil’s Advocate after the fact,eh?

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