New Year’s Eve. Long Beach, California. Red Bull: New Year. No Limits.
Right on the water, Rainbow Harbor to be exact. The sun was going down, and the setting was incredible. It was another magical southern California evening. Beautiful. As the sun was setting, the moon was rising. Boats were all along the harbor. Palm trees, upscale restaurants and grassy picnic areas lined the boardwalk. Spotlights lit up the night sky. And big excitement was in the air.
Why? Why were 75,000 people gathering here? Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. Live on ESPN too. And the big star of this unique, one of a kind event? Travis Pastrana!
And what was Travis attempting to do tonight? Launch his Subaru Impreza STI rally car to a world record car leap! Get that car close to 100 mph, come down Pine Street Pier, get air-born, and land on a floating barge in the middle of the harbor!
About 7:45pm, the focus of everyone on hand started to intensify. Police were in their boats in the harbor … rescue personnel … fire department staff … even paramedics were in the water. Just in case …
People on Travis’ team were measuring wind, water conditions, air temperature, and more to make sure everything was 100% ready for the big jump. Even Travis himself came out to the launching ramp to check the last minute conditions.
ESPN captured it all.
Travis, known to most as a leader in supercross, motocross, and X Games, has focused on Rally Car Racing in recent years. The nine-time X Games gold medalist rang in the new year (midnight on the East coast, 9pm on the West coast) by launching his rally car to a new world record jump – 269 feet! (The previous record was 171 feet by fellow X Games Rally Car Racing competitor Ken Block.)
Travis Pastrana said afterwards “I was really nervous all day long, but when I got in the car I felt really calm. It was definitely a lot more fun than any of my practice runs, and when I landed, man did that retaining wall come up fast! I’m just happy the car and I didn’t end up in the drink. What a way to head into 2010!”
For additional event information, as well as information on Pastrana, visit www.redbullnewyearnolimits.com
Thank you Red Bull, ESPN, and Travis.
You can watch our little video above. And you can look at the photos below by Gerald Geronimo, and one photo courtesy C. Pondella/Red Bull
Photo C. Pondella / Red Bull