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Farm Jam 2014

Farm Jam 2014

Posted by Dave Fahey: 2nd Mar 2014 @ 12:06:58

As another summer draws to a close, Autumn more than announces its presence with a healthy dusting of snow on the hills. In the lower south the 1st March means much more than a change of season this year. A steady stream of cars load up and roll out of Queenstown along the winding Kingston Highway. In Southland, t-shirts bearing energy drink and motorbike labels are being donned, mullets shaken clean and cases of double brown and Cody’s loaded into the back of dropped out Kingswoods. Destination – Farm Jam 2014

For those not familiar, Farm Jam is a FMX, BMX and Mountain Bike event held on the Frew’s Farm just out of Centre Bush, Southland. For one day a year farming is put on hold while a collaboration of world class athletes and local huckers entertain the crowds on the purpose built dirt jumps of the Frew’s Farm. With a jam style format competitors have the time and freedom to use the course as their playground, try new tricks and entertain the crowd without the pressures of time and run limitations, and the results are epic.

Unfortunately, mother nature did not play her part in the build up to the jam. Rain saw clay jumps turn soft and claggy. Never fear, kiwi injunity will prevail. While the FMX line was being scraped, fresh dirt applied and hand slapped in place, a dirt jump hungi was being prepared. Local legend Mike Clarke got to work spreading petrol soaked straw across the dirt jumps, lighting it and baking them dry. As well as being insanely practical the atmosphere this created, being greeted with a haze of smoke and the baaarrp of two strokes was the perfect welcome to Farm Jam 2014.

As the crowd started to gather, the sound of rock n' roll and two stroke filled the air and the FMX riders started to fly. Local legend and RedBull X-fighters champion Levi Sherwood entertained onlookers with an aerial bombardment, twisting himself inside out and upside down to take not just the FMX win but also best trick & most style. Fellow X fighter’s rider Nick Franklin schooled fellow riders on the art of flight while securing a second place finish, as Brazilian Freddy Kryillos rounded out the top three.

As the FMX rolled to a close the crowd all rolled across to the dirt jumps where the BMX and MTB riders were getting the show underway. Both fields again saw an impressive hybrid of both NZ and international talent on display. With both cash and bragging rights up for grabs know one was holding back.

In the Mountain Bike section UK style legend Matt Jones was schooling the locals with some massive air time, huge off axis 360's, mind blowing whips, but what really got the crowd off their feet was the insane final jump double back flip. Local Queenstown riders, Conner Macfarlane, Emmerson Wilken and Kelly McGarry, entertained the crowds as always with big casual 360's, superman’s, tail whips and laid back, back flips, as Elmo Cotter took home the style title and probably a handful of ladies.

As the wheel size shrunk the amount of distance between dirt and tyre didn’t. With a massive field and high percentage of foreign riders, having fun with mates and entreating the crowd was top on these guys’ lists. Disco Stu was horsing around, while Paul Langlands looked like he was fresh out of a war zone, covered in clay, dirt and blood but always smiling. A combination of off axis spins, twists, body’s flying behind bikes, people upside down, new tricks landed, massive crashes trying and heaps of smiling faces was an epic way to finish the day.

This event is not about the money, nor the sponsors, it’s all about getting out, doing what you love and entertaining the crowds, which each and every rider achieved. Great proof that these guys do what they do because they love it & the rest is just a bonus. If Farm Jam 2015 was not on your list before, I hope it is now.

Im off riding!

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