McGazza Fest 2018 – Photo Epic

Jan 29, 2018
by Cameron Mackenzie  


When we think about Kelly McGarry, many memories flood to mind. For me, I remember first-hand watching him guinea pigging the Crankworx Rotorua slopestyle course and hollering the whole way down it. For others, it might be watching him backflipping a canyon, or dropping down a gnarly scree line in his hometown of Queenstown, New Zealand. For every person, whether they are a local, a fellow pro-rider or a bike enthusiast, they each have their own fond memory of Kelly.

Riders from all around the world converged on Queenstown this weekend to take part in celebrating Kelly's life, share memories and ride bikes in the same fashion and places that he loved so dearly.

The second annual McGazza Fest ran over the course of three days, covering everything from jump jams to trail rides, mass start races and social beers at his favourite pub.

This is McGazza Fest 2018. McGazza Forever.

McGazza Fest 2018

The festivities got underway on Friday afternoon with a mega train from the top of Skyline. This was the first chance for many to catch up and all be in the same place together. Spirits were high and so was the stoke.

McGazza Fest 2018
Looking back across to the top lift station as riders gathered for the mass start.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018
The locals came prepared with dust masks. Smart.

McGazza Fest 2018
With temps well in the red for the last few months, the bike park, along with everything else was bone dry and dusty.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
The mega train took in some of the Skyline MTB Park's most iconic vistas as they descend Thunder Goat on the way down to Atlas Beer Cafe.

A hundred odd bikes and smelly riders. Just what the locals wanted on a Friday afternoon downtown.
"Park anywhere"

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
It may have only been a quick ride, but the tales of close calls and lack of visibility thanks to the dust and tight riding were flowing.

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
After surviving the dusty mega train, plenty of pints were pulled to help wash away the dust in the backs of peoples' mouths.



With a taste of what was to come firmly cemented, Day 2 kicked off with a bang. What better way to see in a manic day than with a mass start downhill race from the top of Fernhill. With the start line set, riders had to make the hour-odd journey up to the McGazza Memorial Table, before dropping in at 2 pm.

Matt Jones was frothing to be in NZ and shredding with the better part of the same international group he competes against.
Matt Jones was frothing to be in NZ and shredding with the better part of the same international group he competes against.

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018
With no one in a hurry, it gave everyone a chance to stop and take in the surroundings.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018
The journey up to Fernhill offered little escape from the blazing sun, but a small pocket of beech trees provided the perfect amount of relief from the heat.

With the mercury getting up around the 30 degree mark the stream on the way up Fernhill was a real refuge.
With the mercury getting up around the 30-degree mark, the stream on the way up Fernhill was a real refuge.

McGazza Fest 2018
"Are we there yet?" Not quite.

The McGazza Memorial table served as the perfect meeting point for the McGazzalanche
The McGazza Memorial Table served as the perfect meeting point for the McGazzalanche

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

Alpine Backflips... Go on
Alpine Backflips...? Go on!

Once up top Carson started throwing down to help pass the time.
Once up top, Carson started throwing down to help pass the time.
McGazza Fest 2018
James Ramsay hasn't flipped before but figured he better just send it.

Sven Martin and Nathan Hughes better watch out. Kurt MacDonald is going to hang up his spanners and take up being a full time media squid.
Sven Martin and Nathan Hughes better watch out. Kurt MacDonald is going to hang up his spanners and take up being a full-time media squid.

McGazza Fest 2018
3, 2, 1, go!

Without any delay 50-ish riders came flying off the top of Fernhill without regarded for what the were riding over.
Without any delay, 50-ish riders came flying off the top of Fernhill, without a regard for what the were riding over.

Conor MacFarlane got himself into a great starting position with second before heading into the trees.
Conor MacFarlane got himself into a great starting position and was second before heading into the trees and managed to hold it to the finish.

McGazza Fest 2018
Mike Hucker forgot his knee pads and paid the price. He slid out and took on a sharp rock. Rock = 1 - Hucker = 0



After a hectic and relatively uneventful McGazzalanche, everyone rolled back up the hill for what was to be the highlight event of the whole fest. Dream Track, situated at Wynyard Crescent, has long been the proving ground for the local big-bike huckers and offers the largest jumps anywhere in New Zealand.

McGazza Fest 2018
Before the circus rolled into town, a group of locals gathered on the Thursday night for a low key pre-jam to make sure the jumps were rolling perfectly.

Preparation is key. Eddie Masters came ready.
Preparation is key. Eddie Masters came ready.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Conor MacFarlane was ready, of course.

Not just a killer builder Emmerson Wilken can ride a bike bloody well too.
Not just a killer builder, Emmerson Wilken can ride a bike bloody well too.

McGazza Fest 2018
Sam Robbie pointing out the ideal spots for media to be, come Saturday.

McGazza Fest 2018
Bring on game day.


McGazza Fest 2018
Conor MacFarlane may live at the foot of Dream Track but takes his preparation for hitting those jumps the same as he would for dropping into a Rampage line.

McGazza Fest 2018
Remy Morton wasn't going to miss McGazza Fest for the world. He is still coming back to full strength but hasn't lost his flare on the bike.

McGazza Fest 2018
T-Mac tucked up.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
The BMX lads tend to stick to Gorge Road, but they sure as hell threw down and sent it big on Dream Line.

McGazza Fest 2018
Laurie Greenland had the sun shining out his....

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
R-Dog was getting all out of shape for the crowds.

McGazza Fest 2018
Matt Lawton dipping her in.

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Eliot Jackson couldn't get enough.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Carson Storch rolling around above the crowds.

McGazza Fest 2018
Bas van Steenbergen towing Eliot Jackson into the final step up.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Dropping

McGazza Fest 2018
Bas on the boost.

Eliot Jackson taking things beyond 90.
Eliot Jackson taking things beyond 90.

With this being Sam s backyard it was of little surprise to see him floating t-bogs over the 3rd hip.
With this being Sam's backyard, it was of little surprise to see him floating t-bogs over the 3rd hip.

Dust dust and more dust.
Dust, dust and more dust.

McGazza Fest 2018

Caleb Burgess taking a leak.
Caleb Burgess taking a leak.

Callum black on black Booth acting as a mini eclipse
Callum 'black on black' Booth acting as a mini eclipse

McGazza Fest 2018
Jackson Davies didn't disappoint.

McGazza Fest 2018
Small wheels, huge boost!

McGazza Fest 2018



After a successful and epic jam at the Dream Track, the party continued well into the small hours of Sunday morning. Thankfully the memorial ride to the top of Coronet Peak didn't start until late, offering everyone a chance to regroup and recompose before the last day of the Fest.

McGazza Fest 2018
A midday start meant the ride was during the hottest part of the day, so any shade available was quickly converged upon.

McGazza Fest 2018
Functional

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
The ride up the ridge to the summit of Coronet Peak is no walk in the park. Anyone who was still dusty from the night before would have been suffering.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
"Follow me"

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Summits and Stoke



Commonly referred to as 'heaven' or 'paradise', Gorge Road was one of Kelly's favourite places to ride with his friends, so it was fitting that the Jump Jam was the closeout event of the weekend. Jumping, spinning and drinking until the sun went down on a hot summers day.

McGazza Fest 2018
Before any riding could happen though, all the jumps had to be watered down.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Carson got straight on the tools whilst the riding was on hold.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Strong crowds came to watch what was close to a world level slopestyle event.

McGazza Fest 2018
Carson Storch getting things wound up.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Emmerson Wilken with the late arvo tailwhip.

McGazza Fest 2018
Phil McLean was back to full health and throwing down big combos with the pros.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Lewis Jones going to church.

McGazza Fest 2018
R-Dog floating in space.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
McGazza Fest 2018
Who spun better?

McGazza Fest 2018
C-Mac with that one-footer steeze.

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018

McGazza Fest 2018
Elmo Cotter received the MVP award for the weekend after riding every event and throwing down all weekend.

First and foremost, the people are what really make McGazza Fest the best event on the New Zealand calendar, but the open schedule allows for plenty of opportunities to go out on your own rides, too. With the sunsets being so epic and having had a taste of the Coronet Peak goodness already, I had to close out the weekend with a quick sunset lap up Rude Rock.

Last moments of golden hour above Coronet Peak
Last moments of the golden hour above Coronet Peak.

Surfing the waves of Rude Rock at sunset. It doesn t get much better than that.
Surfing the waves of Rude Rock at sunset. It doesn't get much better than that.

A very rude rock in the distance and a moment of golden light before the sun set.
A very rude rock in the distance, and a moment of golden light before the sun set.

Last moments of golden hour above Coronet Peak
The perfect way to celebrate the life and anniversary of Kelly. Queenstown, until next time.

39 Comments

  • + 66
 Riding bikes in the sun and drinking beer, pretty sure the big man would have approved! (And feeling pretty envious of those that were there whilst I was sat here in the northern hemisphere where I've forgotten what dust is, other than what accumulates on top of my TV)
  • + 33
 Dream line on a BMX ??? Big Grin waiting for someone to go crabapple hits too ! should be possible.. i guess
  • + 8
 This! Damn, what a badass
  • + 5
 Dream is far better built than Crabapple. Bigger jumps, butter smooth!
  • + 2
 i did it (crabapple) on my mtn scooter!
  • + 1
 @audric: But Audric, you are the only one who will ride that thing in public Wink
Wait until you get down to Queenstown, Conor and Nathan down there done an amazing job rebuilding Dream track last year!
  • + 1
 @Dorkin: That would have been a bumpy ride down Dirt Merchant! Good effort on Crabapple, they have grown a bit in the past few years.
  • + 2
 @juniorj: ahah so true! but it's good fun! cheers bud
  • + 22
 I would have given my left nut to be there. Looks like pure awesomeness on bikes #mcgazzaforever
  • + 14
 Hmmm, if I use my Visa to buy a new bike, I can put the air miles towards going to NZ.... seems fiscally sound.
  • + 3
 As someone who's here for it, I can solidly say that this has been the best riding weekend of my life! Thanks to all involved. #mcgazzaforever
  • + 2
 Cameron, this is truly exceptional work!! And what an amazing event to be apart of and witness go down!! Mcgazza will and alway be a legend!! Thank you for bringing a tear to my eye and goose bumps over my arms! Cheers!!
  • + 5
 great pictures as usual !
  • + 2
 "With the mercury getting up around the 30-degree mark, the stream on the way up Fernhill was a real refuge"...for giuardia.
I'll never drink untreated water again.
  • + 2
 obviously there is always a chance. but go into the backcountry around those areas and you'd drink the water too. The place absolutely gorgeous.
  • + 4
 Fantastic to see Remy shredding again
  • + 3
 Some proper bangin shots Mr Mackenzie
  • + 3
 epic shoot, nice and unusual to see so a few marzocchis in the mix
  • + 1
 Why unusual?
  • + 3
 where is the double flip clip?
  • + 2
 go on conor macfarlanes insta gram
  • + 2
 Utterly magical. McGazza forever!
  • + 1
 Great pic's..some day I might get over there, in the mean time, this was awesome to see.
  • + 1
 Such ridiculously awesome photos! This had me dreaming of summer Whistler days. nice work!
  • + 2
 so goood !! makes me feel proud of being a moutainbike rider
  • + 2
 Epic shoot - the article just kept going and going....
  • + 1
 How long is the gap in dreamline's second jump, where people were tricking?
  • + 2
 @cameronmackenzie--Fantastic photos, very nice work!
  • + 2
 Eddie Masters off Bergamont?
  • + 6
 The announcement of him joining Pivot was in October Big Grin
  • - 1
 @winko: great news ! I will miss his bergamont 29er DH... it was definitly the most silent bike I ve ever heard
  • + 3
 @winko: Oops, missed that one completely.
  • + 1
 Amazing event and cool riders
  • + 2
 A fitting tribute!
  • + 1
 Does bergamont have a team this coming season, lol everyone has left
  • + 2
 MZ Bombers are back !
  • + 2
 fantastic!
  • + 1
 Huuuucher!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.071714
Mobile Version of Website