Gary Wells' homepage on Cyclejumpers

Caesars Palace
— 1980

Australia — 1980

Melbourne, Australia – April 13, 1980

On Sunday, April 13, 1980, Australia hosted its first world championship motorcycle jump-off with Gary Wells of the United States competing against Johnny Fogwell of Australia at the Calder Raceway in Victoria. This was the third in the series of jumping competitions that Gary was participating in. The previous two jump-offs had been Wells against Dale Buggins also from Australia. These two previous jump-offs took place in Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona. Buggins was not available for the Melbourne jump-off because of prior commitments and previous financial hassles with American promoters, so Johnny Fogwell took Dale's place.

It was easy to see why Gary was a world champion. He was good. He made the 120 foot and 130 foot qualifying jumps look easy. Fogwell cleared his 140 foot distance with equal ease. The 150 foot distance looked good for the first of the big jumps and equally good for a record. The 60 foot long landing ramp left plenty of room.

Fogwell approach speed was well over 90 mph and it took him the full 150 foot gap, plus almost the entire length of the landing ramp. Fogwell's rear wheel touched down at 208 ft 10 inches from where he took off, but on landing, his wheel punched a 2 x 1 foot hole in the ramp. Fogwell's front wheel collapsed and the front forks bent. Fogwell crashed into the padded concrete wall. On Gary's turn, he jumped to another world record at that time of 176 ft 4 inches wearing only his tuxedo shirt with no jacket.




Suit used for jump.