Freddy Krueger takes the Rocketman Night Jump title with a 221-foot leap in the final round. Scot Ellis and Rodrigo Miranda finished second and third respectively. Photo: billdoster.com
The Rocketman Night Jump returned to Lake Grew in Polk City, Florida after a two-year hiatus on October 13th (a tropical storm caused the event to be cancelled last year), and a gusty head wind in the daytime qualifying rounds certainly caused a scene. Danyelle Bennett was lucky enough to limp away from a gnarly crash in the first round, and France’s Thibaut Dailland took a nasty head pounding as well, sending several people frantically into the water to attend to him. Both competitors opted not to jump in the second round. The event marked the finale of the World Ski Fly Tour for the men, and world-record holder Freddy Krueger who was leading in points going into the event, sealed the deal with a 221-foot flight in the final round against Scot Ellis and Rodrigo Miranda. “The thing that stood out most about the event was the one jump final,” says Krueger. “It really puts a lot of pressure on, and I was excited about how I jumped all night.”
Igor Morozov extends for maximum hang-time during the Rocketman’s semi-final round. Photo: billdoster.com
The men’s jump field at this year’s Rocketman was short a few big names. Canada’s Ryan Dodd, who has won four major events this summer decided to rest up for a couple remaining events this fall. Apparently, he’s still paying the price for his Soaked victory in Orlando, Florida, in September where he took a header. Also missing from the tournament roster was Zack Worden (he represented by rocking the mic at the event) and Timmy Bradstreet, both recovering from knee injuries earlier this season. Krueger said that he’s looking forward to having all of the top guys healthy and jumping again. In the women’s final, Regina Jaquess continued on her winning streak this summer, but this time adding a jump title to her resume of slalom victories. The women’s final round was marked by tight competition. Nineteen-year-old Lauren Morgan leaped within a foot of Jaquess’ 170 footer, and Marion Mathieu, who’s won two major titles this summer (Malibu Open, Soaked), finished close behind Morgan. Although it’s not natural to equate Jaquess with the jump event because of her slalom dominance, she’s actually been fairly consistent through the years with many top five placements. It’s now been almost two years since her knee surgery, and the Rocketman Night Jump is her first pro jump title since winning the U.S. Open in 2006. The next pro jump event will be hosted in Santiago, Chile on November 17, and then one week later the best of the best will be competing at the World Cup stop in Palembang, Indonesia. Until then, happy flying.
Gusty wind conditions in the opening round got the best of Thibaut Dailland and he paid the price. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
Daiiland crashed so that he didn’t know which way was up or down after impact, and remembers very little of the crash. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
Scot “The Rockman” Ellis is still kicking butt at 41. Big props to him for not only hosting a great event with his wingman Kyle Eade, but for his second place finish. Photo: billdoster.com
Bikini time at the Rocketman.
Russia’s Igor Morozov smacks the ramp in the semi-final round to fly 204 feet, which was good enough for a fourth place finish. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
Men’s Rocket Man champ Freddy Krueger takes more energy into the base of the ramp than anyone in the world. Photo: billdoster.com
Felipe Miranda posted a 204-foot jump in the semi-final round, but was edged out of the finals by three feet by his brother Rodrigo. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
The Rocketman Night Jump was Regina Jaquess’ first pro jump title since winning the U.S. Open in 2006. Photo: billdoster.com
For the 2012 season, Chile’s Rodrigo Miranda has finished in the top five at five pro events. He took third at the Rocketman. Photo: billdoster.com
Tom Asher’s 210-foot qualifying jump. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
After two pro jump wins in August and September of this year, Marion Mathieu settles for third at the Rocketman. Photo: billdoster.com
Left to right: Marion Mathieu (3rd), Regina Jaquess (1st), Lauren Morgan (2nd) Photo: billdoster.com
The women’s final was a close one with Lauren Morgan (pictured) leaping within a a foot of Jaquess’ 170 footer. Photo: billdoster.com
An unidentified competitor boosts a beauty over Lake Grew just before sunset and the night final. Photo: Todd Ristorcelli
The event was made possible by corporate sponsors: Global Marine Insurance, Nautique, Huston Motors, Honu Sportz, Militia Clothing, WATERSKI magazine, Connelly, D3 Skis, Eagle Sports, Sunbelt Rentals, Masterline and VernO.
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