Originally created 09/22/00

Daredevil attempts motorcycle leap



The sky has never been the limit for Sky Lungston.

The 11-year veteran of motorcycle jumping is hoping the 17 cars he hopes to jump Saturday night won't be over his limit either.

"If I land it and miss the wall, it will mean the world," the 35-year-old Bradenton, Fla., resident said, "because I'll be safe and I will have done what no one else said I could do."

Mr. Lungston will attempt to set what he says is a record for a limited distance motorcycle jump of 17 racing cars bumper to bumper at Silver Eagle Speedway in Grovetown. Gates at the speedway on Gordon Highway will open at 5 p.m. Three racing heats will come after with the grand finale jump at about 10:15 p.m.

Mr. Lungston's jump also will be difficult because he'll do it at 70 mph with no safety deck over the cars and from a ramp to the ground.

"I've got it figured to close to 140 feet I'll have to cover," he said. "The Knievels and all the other guys have always had a safety deck."

He said officials from the World Motorcycle Jumping Association will be on hand to record the jump, but attempts to verify that were not successful.

Mr. Lungston has been jumping professionally for 11 years and has made more than 2,500 jumps internationally, including one over a portion of the Great Wall of China.

"I was the first American to clear the wall," he said.

But this jump is the latest to draw his attention. He said the record for the limited distance jump was broken by someone in Texas just weeks ago. While on a tour with a monster truck show in Augusta, Mr. Lungston happened to see the Grovetown track and saw his chance.

"I wanted to come back here real bad," he said.

Mr. Lungston said he races all over the country with risk takers such as Robby Knievel, the son of Evel Knievel.

Still, he doesn't see himself as a daredevil.

"All I do is jump motorcycles," he said.

But Mr. Lungston promises his audience will see an exciting show.

"I think everyone out here will be pretty blown away," he said.

And in the meantime, will he have any fears?

"There's no fear," he said. "It's just wanting to make sure everything is perfect."

Cost for the event will be $15 general admission; $13 for seniors, military and students; and free for children 10 and younger.

Reach:Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 110.