LaVallee to make world record attempt

On New Year's Eve, snowmobiler Levi LaVallee, a seven-time X Games medalist, will attempt to break the world record for longest snowmobile jump. The current record, which is 301.5 feet, was set by Paul Thacker in March 2009 at Minnesota's Brainerd International Raceway.

LaVallee will attempt to jump his Polaris snowmobile over a 300-foot water gap at San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park. The stunt will be free for spectators and will be broadcast live on ESPN on Friday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. PT in a show called "Red Bull: New Year. No Limits."

"I can't even explain how excited I am to be part of this year's 'Red Bull: New Year. No Limits,'" LaVallee said. "With the jump gap itself being longer than the existing distance record, it is going to be one heck of a ride."

In 2009, LaVallee attempted to throw the first double backflip on a snowmobile. Last winter, he won the Snowmobile Knockout event at Winter X Games, beating Chris Burandt with a 2,001-inch jump.

Brian Balsaitis/Shazamm/ESPN Images

Levi Lavallee won gold at the first-ever Snowmobile Knockout competition at 2010's X Games.

The history of 300-foot jump attempts on motorized vehicles goes back several years. In March 2009, Thacker broke his own snowmobile world record of 271 feet, which he set in Feb. 2008 in Shakopee, Minn. Motocross rider Ryan Capes broke the ramp-to-ramp motorcycle distance jump record in Sept. 2009 in Reno, Nev., with a jump that measured 316 feet, 5 inches. And last New Year's Eve, Travis Pastrana broke the record for longest jump in a rally car, 269 feet, in a live broadcast from Long Beach, Calif.

ESPN's live television broadcast will be hosted by Joe Tessitore and Marcellus Wiley, who will be joined by Jamie Little and Tes Sewell offering behind-the-scenes commentary.

"For the fourth year we have the opportunity to showcase an extraordinary athletic feat. This year's jump by world champion snowmobiler Levi LaVallee will continue in that tradition." Joan Lynch Owens, vice president and executive producer, ESPN content development. "This is the kind of 'anticipation television' our fans expect to see on ESPN."

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