Crankworx Rotorua



As the big screen showed a moving tribute to Kelly McGarry, the crowds gathered at the Skyline Mountain Bike Park were humbled into silence. Kelly’s friends and fellow riders were gathered at the top of the course, and ran a mega train down the track that Kelly himself had built. Kelly's tires were the last to touch the track before this year's event, so it was a fitting send off for the big man. Hugs, tears, and stories were shared beneath the final jump that displayed the big ‘McGazza’ logo for the world to see. He truly was connected with this course that he and Tom Hey (Elevate Build and Design) built and will be forever remembered here.


Tom Hey leads out the Kelly Mcgarry tribute ride on the slopestyle course followed by countless riders all shredding for their fallen friend.
Tom Hey leads out the Kelly McGarry tribute ride on the slopestyle course followed by 29 other riders all shredding for their fallen friend. Tom and Kelly built this course together, and were not only business partners, but close friends.

Brendog nac ing over the McGazza jump
It wasn't just slopestyle bikes on course either. Brendog nac'ing over the McGazza jump on his Scott Gambler.
Carson Storch flip whip during the McGazza tribute ride.
Carson Storch was feeling it and dropped a flip whip during the tribute ride.

Will the circle be unbroken. Bye and bye in the sky. We ll see you on the other side.
Will the circle be unbroken. By and by in the sky. We'll see you on the other side.

Tom Hey and Emmerson Wilken
Tom Hey and Emmerson Wilken, two of Kelly's closest friends, doing it for #McGazza.
Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Emotions were running high, as was the support in the group. R-dog lends a hand.

Every rider in the slopestyle gathered at the finish after a run in remembrance of Kelly
Every rider in the slopestyle gathered at the finish after a run in remembrance of Kelly.

Carson Storch gives Sam Hitchcock a long hug after the tribute ride. Kelly took Carson under his wing during their time with Diamondback and still helped Storch out immensely even after moving to YT.
Carson Storch gives Sam Hitchcock a long hug after the tribute ride. Kelly took Carson under his wing during their time with Diamondback and still helped Storch out immensely even after moving to YT.
Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Nicholi was wearing a custom Alpine Stars jersey, dedicated to Kelly.

You could see it on everyone s faces and you could feel it in the atmosphere Kelly s absence left a huge hole in the community but he was definitely here in spirit
You could see it on everyone's faces, and you could feel it in the atmosphere; Kelly's absence left a huge hole in the community, but he was definitely there in spirit.

After possibly the most solemn start to a Crankworx event, the riders were slow to regain their composure, but once they got their game face on the action was anything but slow. Tires were popped, and banger tricks were thrown, leaving the crowd awe-struck. Contest firsts such as Rogatkin's 1080 ‘twister’, and Semenuk's 720 bar left the crowds floored. How much higher can these boys raise the bar?


Crankworx Rotorua 2016
<Deleted photo>

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
The long walk to the start gate.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Start gate viewing center

Crankworx Rotorua 2016

 McGazzaForever
Carson Storch was riding with Kelly on his mind.

Eyes on the prize for Carson Storch.
Eyes on the prize for Carson Storch.

<Deleted photo>

Sam Reynolds Flip drop out of the start gate Waharoa
Sam Reynolds' flip drop out of the start gate Waharoa.

Warming up and doing his stretches in the air Amir Kabbani ready for the remainder of his run
Warming up and doing his stretches in the air, Amir Kabbani is ready for the remainder of his run.

Carson Storch flip whip off the start step down.
Carson Storch flip whip off the start step down.

<Deleted photo>
Messere with a bar spin up the step up.
Messere with a bar spin up the step up.

Sam Reynolds tail whip off the boner log.
Sam Reynolds tail whip off the boner log.


<Deleted photo>

Sam Reynolds was looking smooth all day making this 360 drop look easy and then throwing a casual 720 over the final jump
Sam Reynolds was looking smooth all day, making this 360 drop look easy and then throwing a casual 720 over the final jump.
Sam Reynolds flatting it out over the crowd
Sam Reynolds flatting it out over the crowd.
Sam s broke out a mint breakdance running out his 720 crash on the final jump
Sam breakdances out of his 720 crash on the final jump.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Sam Pilgrim, reporting for duty.

The bar for tricks never seems to stop climbing this year a 720 was almost required to make it into the top 10
The bar for tricks never seems to stop climbing, this year a 720 was almost required to make it into the top 10.

Sam Pilgrim getting out of shape on the money maker finish jump
Sam Pilgrim gets bent out of shape on the money maker finish jump.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
On his first run, Rogatkin exploded his rear wheel while dropping in. He was on a fierce hunt for redemption come run two and had the crowds going berserk.

<Deleted photo>

Nicholi Rogatkin first ever 1080 in a slopestyle contest
Nicholi Rogatkin's first ever 1080 in a slopestyle contest.The crowd just about flipped out just as hard as he did.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
And this is what a 1080 victory dance looks like.
High fives all around for Nicholi Rogatkin for landing the first 1080 in a contest run.
High fives all around for Nicholi Rogatkin for landing the first 1080 in a contest run.

Cam McCaul lost his sh t when Nicholia Rogation 720 d the start drop and blew his tyre
Cam McCaul lost his sh*t when Nicholi Rogation 720'd the start drop and blew his tyre on his first run.
Brett Rheeder
Rheeder, focused and in pursuit of the gold.

Rheeder was out for blood throwing down hard all week with massive tricks. Unfortunately a few small errors saw his score punished in the final.
Rheeder was out for blood, throwing down hard all week with massive tricks. Unfortunately, a few small errors saw his score suffer in the final.

Brett Rheeder 360 s the step up.
Brett Rheeder 360's the step up.
<Deleted photo>

Twisting hard and sending it huge on the final jump but unfortunately a messy landing ended his chances of a win
Twisting hard and sending it huge on the final jump, but unfortunately a messy landing ended his chances of a win.

Brett Rheeder flip double whip.
Brett Rheeder flip double whip.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Brett Rheeders winning rig

Semenuk from underneath the boardwalk.

Brandon Semenuk flipping the boner log
Brandon Semenuk flipping the boner log.

Brandon Semenuk backflipping the SRAM step down.
Brandon Semenuk backflipping the SRAM step down.

Semenuk 720
Flat out and super stylin'.

<Deleted photo>

The definition of steeze Brandon Semenuk throwing a flip barspin to tuck after cruising through a victory lap smooth as butter.
The definition of steeze: Brandon Semenuk throwing a flip barspin to tuck after cruising through a victory lap, smooth as butter.

Semenuk stoking on throwing down a winning run on his first run
Semenuk stoked on throwing down a winning run on his first run.

Semenuk took the top spot once again, this being his fourth Crankworx gold, close on his tail was Nicolai Rogatkin stomping his 1080 and popping his rear tire upon touchdown. Brett Rheeder rounded off the podium with a notable flip oppo-whip from the starting step down. Kelly's friends gave it absolutely everything in a send off which the man with the big hair, and the even bigger grin, would have been so stoked to see.


<Deleted photo>
Although the rivalry is fierce they still get stoked on each other winning
Although the rivalry is fierce they still get stoked on each other winning.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Semenuk revels in the redemption from last year.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Crankworx Rotorua 2016


bigquotesIt feels so good, such a good redemption. To come back and get a win at this event kind of rounds out the Crankworx series of events for me. - Brandon Semenuk


Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Sammy Hitchock and Brandon Semenuk with the McGazza award.
Brandon Semenuk and Sammy Hitchock, Kelly McGarry's partner, with the McGazza award.

Crankworx Rotorua 2016
Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Friends family and everyone that had Kelly in their lives. Couldn t ask for more of a true remembrance for a real hero.
Friends, family and everyone that had Kelly in their lives. A truly honorable remembrance for a real hero.


#McGazzaForever

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MENTIONS: @parisgore / @FRNZ / @fraserbritton / @cameronmackenzie /@Chamakazi / @officialcrankworx




38 Comments

  • 69 1
 Its worth thinking about that a death can bring us so much closer when a life can be pushed aside so easy without personal relationship. If you are a friend or just seing who Kelly was through the interwebs, He gave people a smile. That is something we need, A simple smile can make a difference
  • 9 0
 That's one of the best advice i've ever read on pinkbike!
  • 1 0
 I don't know if it was intentional that at the end all the riders were in a heart shape or not but it was certainly fitting for a man who effected so many hearts.
  • 35 1
 They should send the Mcgazza sign to all the events this year. Most notably the canyon gap at rampage
  • 1 0
 This. However I feel like rampage will be at a new venue this year, seeing as the line real estate was already super crowded this year.
  • 25 0
 Why is no one talking about Torquato Testa? Kid was SO gnarly in this contest, I can't wait to see what he has in the future. SO gnarly!
  • 2 0
 Man, so under rated.
  • 7 0
 I mean flatdrop flip whip? Seriously?
  • 2 0
 He won't be under the radar for long.
  • 8 1
 The perfect tribute to Kelly. Thank you to everyone at Crankworx, YT, Diamondback, all the riders present, Kelly's sponsors, and his partner Sammy, for doing this and making his memory last forever. Ride in Paradise Kelly. We miss you.
  • 12 4
 I think someone needs to proof read this article.... unless Thelander now rides for Rocky Mountain and Rheeder actually won??
  • 5 2
 I was just gonna write, Thelander looks awfully American..
  • 6 0
 Fixed - thanks Guys.
  • 5 2
 Great event, and Brandon just nailed it in style and smooth again. Looks like he stopped over-thinking stuff and actually enjoys the contest. I'm really happy for him.
  • 1 0
 Just a heads up to pinkbike, the caption near the end has a few mistakes "Semenuk took the top spot once again, this being his fourth Crankworx gold, close on his tail was Nicolai Rogatkin stomping his 1080 and popping his rear tire upon touchdown. Brett Rheeder rounded off the podium with a notable flip oppo-whip from the starting step down. Kelly's friends gave it absolutely everything in a send off which the man with the big hair, and the even bigger grin, would have been so stoked to see." Brett flip bar to tucked the first step down, and it was Brandons 5th gold at Crankworx.
  • 3 0
 Actually it was his 6th gold: 3x joyride + 2x les deux alps + 1x rotorua =6
  • 1 0
 He won some colorado crankworx contests too, 2008,2009,2009
  • 1 0
 plus one more whistler win( 2011,2013,2014,2015) so... its 10.
  • 1 0
 *colorado 2010
  • 2 0
 My bad, how could I forget about his 4th joyride win? Also completely forgot that Colorado was part of Crankworx once. Thanks for improving my knowledge though, mate
  • 4 0
 I've said it before, and I'll say it again, please NEVER stop the photo epics!
  • 2 0
 R.I.P Kelly. Great tribute. Also,Brett did flip bar to tuck from start step-down, not flip oppo whip
  • 3 0
 Anthony messere is insane... 19 and doing back flip double whips!
  • 3 0
 my fave crankworx ever!
  • 1 0
 Great show guys! So exciting. Thanks for risking it all for our entertainment. Amazing!
  • 1 0
 Great tribute to a great human being.
  • 2 0
 #McgazzaForever
  • 2 0
 Sick Photos!
  • 1 0
 the photos are crazy good
  • 1 0
 First 1080 in competition? Who else has done a 1080 ever?
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