So how did you ring in the New Year? Major props if you powered into 2012 anywhere near the way pro snowmobiler Levi LaVallee and FMX rider Robbie “Maddo” Maddison did – with record-breaking jumps across an icy San Diego harbor on a snowmobile and a motorbike at Red Bull’s New Year-No Limits event.
The two rode side-by-side with a shared goal of breaking their respective sports’ longest-jump records. Both succeeded fantastically. Maddison beat his 351-feet, 3-inches certified world record with an impressive jump of 378 feet, nine inches. He came a bit short of his 400-foot goal, likely because wet conditions nixed his 100-mph launch speed goal. But the massive leap proved a record breaker and a crowd pleaser nonetheless. That Maddo can pull off any feat of this sort is nothing short of a miracle if you know his history. Shortly after graduating high school, Maddison came down with viral meningitis and viral encephalitis. The sicknesses caused temporary paralysis and blinded Maddison in one eye. But he recovered and never looked back as he pushed his motocross passion and went pro.
Meanwhile, LaVallee had his own point to prove that night. He was out to break his record of 361-feet, hit last year in a practice jump that nearly killed him. LaVallee suffered collapsed lungs, a broken pelvis, cracked ribs and a concussion a year ago and has since rebounded in ways that many – including LaVallee’s doctors – thought impossible. To say he “broke” the record doesn’t do the guy justice. He SLAMMED last year’s record by a full 51 feet, crossing the harbor with a 412-foot jump. If you’re doing the numbers, that’s 52 feet longer than an NFL football field.
So what, pray tell, drives a man to repeat the feat that nearly put him six feet under?
“It was something I had to overcome,” LaVallee told ESPN. Otherwise it was going to haunt me the rest of my life… After last year and being out I was like, ‘Man, you just missed out on the coolest opportunity.’ And to be here today and to be able to land an over 400-foot jump… you can’t make it any better.”
From all of us here at E3 Spark Plugs, congrats to both LaVallee and Maddison. Got your eye on breaking your own personal best record? Stock your ride with E3 motorcycle spark plugs or snowmobile spark plugs. Be bold, but be careful. And have an awesome 2012.