Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

White Rock’s pier following damage sustained in the Dec. 20 windstorm. (Christy Fox photo)

The first time White Rock Council heard about promoter Brooke Colby’s plans for a daredevil motorcycle jump at the city’s storm-ravaged pier was through the media.

Mayor Darryl Walker said he’d heard nothing about the event when contacted by Peace Arch News Dec. 31, after Colby’s company had emailed a media release about a bid to have a member of Robbie Knievel’s (son of the legendary Evel Knievel) ‘Team Knievel’ “jump the gap left in the pier.”

“(The plan) makes absolutely no sense at all,” was Walker’s reaction at the time. “I doubt very much that we’d even consider it.”

When Colby appeared before council to pitch the event on Monday night it was partly to apologize for announcing it prematurely, without checking with the city first, and partly to explain the jump would not, in fact, take place on the pier itself.

But he held to his claim that the cable network-oriented event – which he explained would be a jump on the sand beside the pier at low tide to simulate jumping the gap itself – would be a marketing bonanza for the city’s waterfront.

“I want to apologize for the event jumping out of the gate a little quickly,” Colby told council Monday, adding the plan involves Knievel and several other members of his team, with motorcyclist Cole Freeman doing the actual jump.

“We’re not, actually, going to jump the broken part of the pier,” he told council, adding, “These guys like to stay alive.”

“It’s all just like, when they’re in Las Vegas, and they’re jumping over the Caesar’s Palace fountains – they’re not really.

“They jump a long way and they break a world’s record, but it’s all about just making money for the beach. It’s all sponsored, paid for by a lot of viewers, from Fox Network and Red Bull – I’ve a list a mile long.”

Walker told PAN Wednesday that although nothing Colby said Monday had swayed his initial opinion, he was more prepared to consider the idea.

“It seemed like an interesting subject to get a little more information on,” he said.

Walker said his intention generally is to meet with people who have ideas to contribute to the city, particularly if it’s something that “puts White Rock a little bit more on the map.”

“If he wants to come in with a proposal, it would be unfair of us not to listen,” he said.

Colby said Monday all he needed to know was that the city was not too upset with him for “letting it go to the media too quickly.

“We want to work together with you guys when the pier re-opens. It’s a family event, it’s like the Harlem Globetrotters coming to town.”

Colby also noted the planned event would be non-profit.

“We’d like to contribute – I don’t care what it takes to make that beach busy again. We want to make it look busy and pretty like it always was when we were children here.”

Colby, son of late former South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Larry Colby, has garnered headlines before.

In the 2014 civic election he announced a bid to challenge then-incumbent Wayne Baldwin for the mayor’s chair but was forced to withdraw due to a personal health problem.

In 2017 he was one of the event organizers for a Ladies Night at a waterfront restaurant that would have featured male exotic dancers. The event had its Liquor Control and Licensing Branch special event permit licence revoked because no adult entertainment zoning was in place, which ultimately led to the exotic dancing portion of the program being moved to a private residence.

Colby told council he wanted to have a meeting with Walker to further discuss the event, “as soon as we have our vision plan ready.”

“Listen, I’ll meet with darn near anybody,” said Walker, to laughter from residents attending the meeting.

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Promoter Brooke Colby of Brooke Colby Productions says a daredevil motorcycle jump he plans adjacent to White Rock’s damaged pier could help promote the city’s waterfront. (File photo)

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