As the sun burned off the dense fog blanketing City Dock all morning, Annapolitan Travis Pastrana jumped a car over Ego Alley at City Dock at about 11 a.m. Thursday. Then he did it again. And a third time for good measure.
Daredevil Travis Pastrana jumped a rally car over Ego Alley in Annapolis.
Spectators lined up along Market House on City Dock cheered as Pastrana made the gap, soaring through the mid-morning mist over a neon-green powerboat that raced along the water. Pastrana made multiple jumps after the initial success as they tried to sync the car and boat. The jump was planned for the early morning, but the fog delayed the endeavor.
“Yeah, Travis!” onlookers shouted as he touched down on the far side of Ego Alley to raucous applause.
“It was sick,” said Micah Fontz, a 20-year-old Anne Arundel County EMT, who was standing on a trash can to get a better view of the jump.
As Pastrana made a victory lap around City Dock, Fontz turned and cheered.
“I am an action sports fan," Fontz said. "I’ve had the chance to ride bikes with him before. He’s very down to earth. He’s a humble guy and puts a good spotlight [on Annapolis].”
The crowd started well before 7:30 a.m. to catch a glimpse of the stunt. The crew of the tall ship Lynx climbed the rigging to get a view the top. Many spectators said they would wait as long as it took to see Pastrana.
TJ Henson and his mom Valerie waited for the stunt near the Main Street circle. They called it “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to see Pastrana in-person.
Henson, a 15-year-old sophomore at Annapolis High, said he has ridden dirt bikes since age 4 and sees Pastrana as a role model and a friend.
Henson’s dad and Pastrana’s dad, who runs a local construction firm, are friends, Valerie Henson said.
“It’s good that he comes back,” she said of Pastrana who lives in Davidsonville but performs around the world.
While most of the crowds were gathered in front of Market House or milling about downtown, others found good seats next to the ramps at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille.
Pastrana has planned the stunt for months with approval to operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. today with the jump at City Dock and other stunts around Church Circle.
The city was under a dense fog advisory until 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. As the morning wore on, the sun began to burn through the mist, winking in and out from behind clouds as Pastrana finally took his first jump at about 10:57 a.m.
The initial City Dock stunt had Pastrana jumping across Ego Alley from one ramp to the next. He began his descent from the top of Newman Street, barreling down the narrow street before hitting the ramp erected next to Fleet Reserve. A neon-green powerboat emblazoned with Hoonigan Industries’ logo, a San-Diego-based film company, sliced through the waters below as Pastrana’s car soared over landing on the second ramp erected in the parking lot of Latitude 38 seafood restaurant.
They performed the stunt several times. A large portion of the crowd dispersed after the first jump but those diehard fans stuck around and kept filming.
“I got a perfect video,” said Annapolis resident Lisa McAdams who showed her phone with a still image of Pastrana’s car in mid-jump over the water.
“We’ve followed his career for years," McAdams said. "And (the) fact that he’s doing this for our town and generating a buzz for us ... it’s giving back, and that’s what I love about it.”
Some spectators expressed relief at having an opportunity to get out of the house during the pandemic. Despite the event being outside, not everyone was wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, especially in the most concentrated area around Market House where 150 people gathered to watch. Pastrana was seen wearing a mask upon his arrival.