As the 2018 instalment of New Zealand’s infamous two-wheeled action-sports event – the Farm Jam – approaches, organisers are working overtime to ensure February 3 will build on the raging success of the last version in 2016.
With a number of the world’s best riders confirmed, revamped courses and new major sponsors, Dan and Brett Frew are pulling out the stops to ensure their biennial event at the bottom of the South Island continues to build a name as a “must-do” for the world’s top BMX, mountain-bike dirt-jumping and freestyle motocross athletes.
Among the riders who have already confirmed their attendance are New Zealand’s own 2017 X Games and Red Bull X-Fighters FMX champion Levi Sherwood, world BMX champion and defending Farm Jam number-one Logan Martin (Australia) and back-to-back defending Farm Jam MTB champ Matt Jones (UK).
World-renowned MTB riders Ryan “R-Dog” Howard (USA) and Antoine Bizet (France) have also confirmed their attendance, while Australian FMX legend Jake Bowen and 2016 Best Whip winner Lewis Woods will also put on a show for the masses.
The BMX contest is already living up to its reputation as a showcase event for the world’s best riders, with crowd favourite and long-time Farm Jam supporter Mike “Hucker” Clark (USA), Kris Fox (USA), Jason Watts (Australia), Chris James (Australia) Danny Josa (USA) and Victor Salazar (USA) already locked in for 2018.
“The Farm Jam continues to attract the absolute best riders from around the world, and we’ve already been blown away by the level of athletes who’ve already confirmed they’re coming,” says Brett Frew. “The MTB field in particular is already promising to be the strongest we’ve ever seen, and more announcements will be made soon
Both the riders and spectators will be treated to some significant course improvements when they arrive at the picturesque Otapiri Gorge farm near Winton. Both pushbike lines have benefitted from numerous revamps to the perfectly-sculpted dirt jumps, and viewing opportunities have been maximised with the reshaping of the embankment that overlooks the action.
The freeride FMX course and obstacles has also received no small amount of attention to enable the riders to carry more speed and throw their best tricks over the multitude of natural-terrain jumps and lines.
“Maybe we’re extra excited for 2018, but the course prep is progressing well, and we’re still eight weeks out,” says Dan Frew. “The freeride course has been almost completely renovated and I’m excited to see what the FMX riders will be able to throw down in the hills now. 2016 was a game-changer for the freeride areas, and 2018 should see things step up even further.”
A number of key partners have also been confirmed, with Sony, ODI Grips, 100%, SocialBMX.co.nz, PGG Wrightson, and Blue Sky Meats joining existing major sponsors iLabb (who will again be launching a collaborative Farm Jam clothing range) and Red Bull to help take the iconic action sports event to the next level.
Other 2018 partners include The Rock FM, Invercargill Brewery, Brent Scammell Honda, Jamie McConachie Shearing, BDL Productions, Promed and DB Graphics.
Held at the bottom of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island, the Farm Jam combines natural-terrain freestyle motocross, BMX and mountain-bike dirt-jumping. The contest was held annually until 2014 (and now biennially) and attracts thousands of passionate spectators and some of the world’s biggest names in two-wheeled action sports to each event.
As was the case in 2014 and 2016, the 2018 NZ Farm Jam will have limited entry spots available across FMX, BMX and MTB. Athlete invitations have been sent out, generating an astounding amount of interest from all corners of the globe.