Record height and distance! Motorcycle flies 95 m high over distance of 85 m. Australian stunt Motocrosser Robbie Maddison not only jumped over the 85-metre wide Corinth Canal at height of nearly 100 metres in Greece, but he also had a bigger hurdle to overcome: fear. Motocross Freestyle, with breathtaking tricks such as flips performed at heights of up to three storeys high, is one the world’s most dangerous sports. Robbie Maddison is one of the world’s best riders in FMX but that is not enough for the 28-year-old Australian. Maddison is always looking for even greater thrills and has completed a number of spectacular.
Many Motocrossers have wanted to jump across the Corinth Canal but the Robbie was the first to succeed. The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The canal is 6.3km in length and was built between 1881 and 1893. Maddison sped his Honda 500 up through a turn-filled approach past a pool, across a soccer pitch and past a chicken coop to a speed of 125 km/h. Robbie accelerated up a ramp over the canal some 80 metres below and landed safely on a mound set up on the other side of the canal. At his apogee Maddison was 95 metres above the canal’s surface.
Maddison said getting the approach right despite the constantly changing surfaces – from grass to concrete to wood to asphalt again and then carpet – was difficult enough but there was greater hurdle to the jump: “Overcoming fear, that’s always the hardest part,“ Maddison said.
WHO IS ROBBIE MADDISON?
Robert Billy Maddison, commonly known as Robbie Maddison and “Maddo” (born July 14, 1981) is an Australian motorbike stunt rider from the town of Kiama, New South Wales. Growing up in Kiama Downs he developed his passion for riding by competing in national motocross events.
He finished school at Kiama High and took up an electrician apprenticeship, before further following his passion for riding.
On December 31, 2007, (on the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel jumping the fountains at Caesars Palace), Maddison broke the world motorcycle jumping record, traveling 98.34m on a motorbike. He repeated the event immediately afterwards, successfully landing the jump. His second attempt, however, did not go as far as the first jump; he was not injured in either jump.
On March 29, 2008, he broke his own world record twice during the Crusty Demons Night Of World Records show in Melbourne, Australia. During his first jump he traveled 316 feet 0 inches (96.32 meters) and landed on the safety zone nearly hitting the front of the landing ramp. On his second attempt he broke the world record by traveling 342 feet 7 inches (104.42 meters) this time he landed hard on his back tire and was not satisfied by the jump, so he decided to jump once more. On his third jump he again broke the world record, this time with 106.98m (350.98 feet) into a perfect landing. On January 1, 2009, Maddison successfully jumped 96 feet (29.26 meters) up onto the Arc de Triomphe in front of Paris Las Vegas and then descended a 40 foot drop off the monument to return safely to ground level. Robbie said after the jump that he may have broken his hand and had a gash to the bone in the webbing of his left hand.
On July 13, 2009, Maddison jumped Tower Bridge with a backflip, whilst the drawbridge was open by 25 feet.
Freestyle motocross combines some of the world’s top athletes with a few riders that are just crazy enough to try anything. And that combination keeps the sport evolving. “There’s a lot of competition for the number one spot, and there’s also a lot of creativity in the sport,” Robbie explains. “The best way I’ve found to deal with it is just to keep at it every day, because progress is an ongoing thing. Sometimes it comes in small steps and sometimes it comes in giant steps, but the main thing is just to keep riding every day and taking those steps. It’s a tight enough community of riders that you’re always seeing what everyone else is doing; and I’m always thinking about what I can change.”