While most people rang in the New Year with a glass of champagne in a fancy club or with their closest friends, NYE jump veteran Robbie “Maddo” Maddison and Levi LaVallee did it BIG for the history books and set two new world records at the “Red Bull: New Year. No Limits.” in San Diego, California. A long distance jump over 300-feet of water on a motorcycle and snowmobile simultaneously. Yes, they flew through the air side-by-side, Maddo launching his motorcycle 391-feet (just shy of the 392-foot record he set during practice for tonight’s event) and Levi making it 412-feet on a snowmobile, landing the record-breaking jump on the South end of Embarcadero Marina Park. And the location was fitting as Embarcadero translates to “landing place” in the Spanish language, which is just what they did and safely. This jump was no easy feat and would not be possible with out an abundance of preparation and an experienced team with guys like ramp engineer Dane Herron. Many hours, days and months went into making this jump even possible. Herron has been working with Red Bull since the first New Year’s event and has notched out the perfect formula to many successful NYNL jumps.
Thousands of hopeful spectators crowded the marina viewing areas and anxiously awaited for the Red Bull athletes’ appearance. The elements worked for the guys tonight even though the fog made it tough on visibility. It was a crisp 50-degree night with a thick layer of San Diegans. When Maddison and LaVallee were spotted, the cameras started to pop out blinding the sky with their flashes in hopes of catching a glimpse of action. The answer to floating among the crowd was “Yes, these elite athletes can break two world records at the same time and land safely in the dense fog.” As soon as the crowd saw Maddo and LeVallee land on the ramp safely, they went wild with a loud roar of excitement. It was a moment in history that would forever mark the books and they were a part of it.As a Dirt Rider, you must know of Robbie Maddison but you may not have heard of Levi LaVallee until recently. For those of you who do not know the 29-year-old snowmobile racer, LaVallee was preparing for the jump last year when a practice crash left him badly injured with broken ribs, punctured lungs and pelvic fractures. Levi was in a 3 day coma. He made a full recovery and was eager to make a comeback at this year’s event alongside Maddo. It’s stunning that one would come back and conquer a jump of this magnitude just a year later.NYE is a big night all around the world just as Red Bull would have it for any of their events. Since 2007, Red Bull has been setting records off the chart with their first New Year’s Eve event at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. At the first NYNL event, Robbie Maddison marked 322 feet as the longest jump on a motorcycle while Rhys Millen’s attempt at a backflip in an off-road came up short. During the 2008 event, Maddison jumped 10 stories to the top of the Arc de Triomphe replica at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. In the 60′ drop-off, Maddo injured his left hand and was all smiles on tv after his successful jump. Rhys Millen attempted a comeback on the backflip in the off-road truck that year and did just that landing on all four wheels before rolling the truck. Red Bull brought the annual event to the Pacific Ocean in 2009 where Travis Pastrana successfully jumped his Subaru rally car 269-feet over the water to a floating barge in Long Beach, CA. Staying near the waters of the west coast, Red Bull moved the 2010 event to San Diego, CA where Levi LaVallee was scheduled to make the big leap on his snowmobile before a horrible crash during practice cancelled the New Years. No Limits. event. This year, Levi made his comeback.