Farm Jam has always been more about the riding, catching up with old friends and good times than the competing. This year more so than ever. As you may have heard the mountain bike community lost a dear friend earlier in the week, Kelly McGarry. The Frew brothers, who run this event, happen to be close friends of Kelly so they wanted to make this one extra special for the big man. Oh did they succeed at that, the work put in was noticeable from the moment you rolled into the farm. As a mountain biker, the most notable aspect was the beautifully sculpted dirt jumps, many man-hours had clearly gone into these. The riding did not disappoint either, everybody was on fire, whether it be style or PlayStation like technicality, wowing even the hardiest of Southland fellows. Even the weather played ball, which isn’t easy to rely on in this part of the world, the day starting shrouded in cloud later opening up to let the sun in.
The day kicks off with a pit race to get everyone amped for some bigger bikes. A few short loops around the FMX track saw Dan Frew take the win followed closely by Jimmy Carling, and round it out Dan’s brother, Chris Frew. Shortly after the engines fired up, luring in the crowds. The FMX boys are not here to disappoint at all. Boosting lips and throwing the nastiest of whips! Unfortunately, Levi Sherwood was not performing at 100% due to an ankle injury but the rubber kid still threw down some ridiculous moves.
The day shifted to a quieter tone with the crowds making their way down to the Dirt Jumps. With the music full noise, the riders began to drop. The session started out with a train and a moment of noise to celebrate the life of McGazza.
With Pennywise cranking, the MTB event began. The jam format is a rider judged process. From the get go the level of riding was obviously high, in these kind of jams, style is the order of the day and there was plenty of it. Stand outs for style were New Zealander, Lewis Jones and Aussie boy, Tom Wrigley - with Tom taking out the best style prize. Conor Macfarlane showed us again why he is renowned as such a great all round rider, piecing together a trick-filled run that managed to take him to second. UK rider, Matt Jones made the 32-hour flight to compete and brought some big tricks with him. Dump 360’s, flip whips and a big double backflip to take out best trick.
As the big wheels began to take their last laps the BMX’ers prepared to tear up the jumps. A huge international field showed up to ride these jumps, putting on a show for the deep south. The jam starts with the 'Bros' showing what they have, these are the guys that have to be back at the 9-5 grind come Monday morning. The four top from this move on to play with the big dogs in the 'Pros' category. The level of riding was insane with ridiculous spins and mad combos thrown in. The stand out for me was Gareth Morgans and his superman double peg grab… Yes, you read that right. Unfortunately, he took a nasty spill on another attempt, writing him off. Again, Paul Langlands went into beast mode showcasing some serious dedication and skill, the man has grit. The bails he takes would write most people off but he just gets back up and keeps trucking. The video game antics of Logan Martin and Kyle Baldock managed to land them the two top spots and rightly so. With combos such as double flipwhip to bar, they were obvious top place finishes.
The day drew to a close with one last train to send everybody on their way. The Frew boys and everybody involved pulled off one hell of an event in memory of one hell of a bloke. It really showcases why rider focused jams bring out the best in everyone. See you again in 2018…FMX
1. Ryan Brown
2. Jake Smith
3. Callum Shaw
Best trick: Ryan Brown
Best Whip: Lewis WoodsMTB
1. Matt Jones
2. Conor Macfarlane
3. Phil McLean
Best trick: Matt Jones
Best style: Tom WrigleyBMX
1. Logan Martin
2. Kyle Baldock
3. Paul Langlands
Best trick: Brock Horneman
Best style: Kris Fox#McGazzaForever