Nearly a year after she died attempting to break a 43-year-old record, Jessi Combs was recently honored by the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest woman on earth.
On Aug. 27, 2019, Combs set out to break the record of fastest land speed for a woman, driving her famous North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in the Alvord Desert of Oregon. Previously, the record had been set (512.7 mph) by Kitty O’Neil in that same desert back in 1976.
Combs reached a speed of 522.783 mph (according to Guinness), but a mechanical failure proved fatal. Harney County Sheriff’s Office investigators said that the front of the jet car likely hit an object on the ground, causing the front wheel assembly to collapse.
However in late June of this year, the Guinness Book of World Records finally declared that Combs claimed the record.
“The fastest land speed record (female) is 841.338 kph (522.783 mph), and was achieved by Jessi Combs (USA) in the Alvord Desert, Oregon, USA, on 27 August 2019,” notes the organization’s website. “Jessi is the first person to break this record in more than 40 years.”
That day in the Oregon desert, Combs completed two successful runs — one at 515.346 mph and another at an incredible 548.432 mph, according to MotorcycleCruiser.com. While traditionally, the record would be created by averaging both runs, Guinness certified Combs’ record at 522.783.
Combs and her 52,000-horsepower jet-car were no stranger to the record book. In 2013, she earned the title of fastest woman on four wheels, going 398 mph.
“I really don’t know how I feel about this at all as no record could ever be worth her not being here, but it was a goal that she really wanted - and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying,” her partner Terry Madden wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m so proud of her. She woke up that morning to an alarm saying “lets make history” and we had an absolutely amazing day.”
In her honor, Combs’ family has established the Jessi Combs Foundation, whose mission is “to educate, inspire and empower the next generation of female trailblazers & stereotype-breakers.”
Teaser image courtesy of Jessi Combs' Facebook fan page.