The idea of taking a side-by-side (also known as a UTV) and jumping it over 200 feet is not something that most people would entertain. The possibility of severe injury or death is enormous, and if you were to attempt it, it probably wouldn't be on a day with crosswind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour.
But most of us aren't Tanner Godfrey. He did all those things to reclaim a UTV long-jump world record on Memorial Day, May 27, and he did it without full use of his legs, according to an announcement from Polaris, the powersports company that sponsored his attempt.
Godfrey was partially paralyzed in 2007 at the age of 18 when he crashed during a motocross race. He went over his handlebars at approximately 50 mph and shattered his t6 vertebrae and dislocated his t7 vertebrae. He was diagnosed on the scene as likely being a paraplegic.
Fast-forward to 2019, and after over a decade of intense physical therapy, Godfrey has regained partial use of his legs, such that he can walk with canes and drive his UTV with a hand-control stick to work the throttle and brake.
"It's evident I can fly better than I can walk," Godfrey said in a statement, after completing his world record 247-foot jump. "When I took off, all I could think was hit it straight, hold on and hope for a clean landing."
To make his jump, Godfrey partnered with Polaris, opting to use its wild-as-hell RZR XP Turbo S, which is powered by a 998 cc two-cylinder four-stroke turbocharged engine that makes 168 horsepower. The RZR was modified with an uprated roll cage, safety harness, suspension and tires.
The record attempt was made as part of the season finale of the Discovery Channel's Diesel Brothers show and thanks to questionable weather conditions at the Utah shoot location, it very nearly didn't happen at all. Still, the crosswind died down sufficiently during a dry period that Tanner was able to attempt the jump.
He nearly called it off as the wind picked up on his approach to the ramp, but decided to stick with it and floored his UTV. He hit the jump at 84 miles per hour and sailed a little less than straight at the landing side. Because of the crosswind, he landed slightly crooked on the landing ramp but had flown for 247 feet and gotten his record.