Yukon daredevil sets new record with his sled

For Ross Mercer, snowmobile jumping is an art. “It’s creative — he’s come up with his own unique style,” said Red Bull…

For Ross Mercer, snowmobile jumping is an art.

“It’s creative — he’s come up with his own unique style,” said Red Bull spokesman Lubor Keliar.

Mercer just set a world record for the longest snowmobile ramp jump, soaring 80.3 metres.

The Yukon sled junky performed the jump at a snowmobile terrain park in Colorado on Sunday. He is now heading home, with four wheels on the ground.

“He’s driving and his cellphone’s broken — I’m hoping he’ll call,” said Keliar, who’s wearing out from answering media questions.

Instead of growing up with traditional mainstream sports, Mercer lived on a snowmachine, first in the BC mining town of Cassiar, then in Whitehorse.

“He realized his career early,” said Keliar.

“He had this natural talent.

“He’s very comfy in the air.”

Mercer and his souped-up sled have travelled the world, competing in numerous freestyle sled-X events.

He was just in Slovenia a week ago, said Keliar.

And he’s competed in Moscow’s Red Square.

Keliar was certain Mercer travelled with his own sled.

But he wasn’t sure how he gets it overseas.

“It definitely doesn’t go on a ship,” he said.

“I think he flies with it.”

Several months ago, the hotshot rider started talking about setting a new world record, and began preparing.

Mercer used a smart process, said Keliar.

“It’s not just gun-it-and-go.”

Over the course of a weekend, Mercer began with smaller jumps.

Starting off going roughly 80 kilometres an hour, he’d leave the ramp and soar as far as he could, then he’d pull the ramp back, give his sled a bit more gas and get a little further.

“It’s all math,” said Keliar.

“And he was landing smoothly the whole time.

“But Ross has lots of experience in the air and he was minimizing his risks to the fullest extent.”

But even in the air, there’s still plenty to consider, said Keliar.

Mercer has to manage the weight of his sled, the wind, his speed and the temperature. He used a radar gun to help chart his progress.

“The radar gun was used because we started close up and then moved back 10 feet at a time, keeping careful track of my speed and making sure there was no surprises,” said Mercer in a release.

“It was very systematic, and I didn’t have a bad landing the entire time.”

For his record-setting jump, Mercer left the ramp at more than120 kilometres an hour, and surpassed the previous record by 5.7 metres.

“I just went as fast as my sled would go, and I exceeded my expectations,” he said in the release.

“My goal today was 250 feet, but going into this I really didn’t know what to expect.

“Once you get out here, those numbers get pretty big when you’re trying to do them on a snowmachine.”

Mercer is en route to Whitehorse.

“I’m looking forward to going home, celebrating and resting,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read