Record jumper plans New Years stunt

New Year, new “triomphe”

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Nov. 18, 2008, Photography by Christian Pondella
Robbie Maddison marked the end of 2007 by setting the record for the longest motorcycle jump. He intends to finish off 2008 in an equally spectacular fashion.

Maddison, a native of Kiama, Australia, set the world motorcycle jumping record by travelling 322 feet, 7.5 inches over on a Honda CR500. Though Maddison fell short of his goal of jumping over 360 feet – the full length of a football field – he did smash the previous record of 277 feet, six inches set by fellow Australian Trigger Gumm.

The jump was a part of the Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. festivities at the Rio All-Suite Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. on Dec. 31, 2007 – exactly 40 years after Evel Knievel’s failed attempt at jumping over the fountains at Caesar’s Palace.

For the 2008 Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. Maddison is looking for height rather than distance. The 27-year-old Australian plans to jump a motorcycle 120 feet in the air and land on top of the 96-foot-high replica Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas. Maddison will continue along the 40-foot top of the Arc before dropping 50 feet onto a landing ramp.

Robbie Maddison's record-setting jump broke the old mark by over 45 feet.

“I had some doubts last year whether or not I could jump a football field,” says Maddison. “But as I practiced, I got more and more confident and realized I could pull it off; and I did, twice. This year, the doubts are way bigger. The jump has never been done before, but I'm confident in my ability and I believe that as I start training, the dream that seems impossible will become a reality.”

In another stunt planned for this year’s Red Bull: New Year. No Limits., automobile drifting competitor Rhys Millen will attempt to become the first person to land a back flip in an off-road truck. Millen attempted the same stunt at last year’s festivities but had to withdraw due to injuries suffered in a practice run.

“Last year we attempted what was before then thought impossible,” says Millen. “Laws of physics and vehicle dynamics were pushed to the limits with success, but failure came in one small miscalculation. My body can be broken but my mind cannot. This year, people will witness the first ramp to ramp back flip in an off-road truck – ever!”

Maddison and Millen will practice their stunts in Los Angeles, Calif. at the Red Bull Compound training facility.

Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN HD, and streamed online on ESPN360.com at approximately 11 p.m. ET immediately following the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.