I tripped down to Invercargill on Thursday night with Cam Mccaul (not the pro mtber) and stayed at home for the night before heading out to the farm early the next morning. Practice didn't start until 1pm so we had a dig and checked out the setup for all the events. Practice went fine for me excluding my ability to do 360s on the stepup jump which has never been a problem for me before, I got rather annoyed with that so sent a 360 on the big line and it felt alot nicer so I stuck with that for the rest of the weekend. Even in practice alot of people were throwing down although for me I feel more comfortable chilling and keeping most of what I want to do under wraps, partly so I dont exhaust my trick bag and partly because of the chance of crashing. Friday wound down with everyone eventually heading back to the campsite, I must admit I was rather unorganised and didn't bring a tent so cheers to the Invers lads for putting me up.
|Tent/bike storage. Photo Craig 'candybar' Owens|
Saturday started with a trip to Winton so the others could grab some food and beverages and then back to the farm to get ready for the jam. We headed up to the jumps and started warming up, everything was going fine until Phill Mclean cased a jump resulting in broken forks a rather sore face and a trip to the hospital. Phill was shredding and definitely the most impressive in practice so would have been interesting to see what he would have pulled out in the jam. I laxed out after abit of practice and watched the moto boys throw down for awhile then headed over to the jumps to gear up for the jam. I really wasn't feeling it at the start of the jam as it took awhile for it to start properly but once it started I got all fired up. We had about 15mins to jam on whatever line we wanted then we had single runs on the small line. The small line is more tech with only one straight jump not including a slightly offset stepdown. I made the most of having a stepdown in the line by flipping and 360ing it which i was pretty stoked with as I don't think any other serious tricks got thrown down on it all weekend. After a jam on the hip line we all did single runs on the big line, to me this is where the event is won or lost. I did afew runs down it with 360s and flips with the odd flip 1foot x-up and then decided it was time to throw down. I had learnt frontflips a week before the jam with Luke Mccombie (it came at a price of a rather large and sore bruise on my hip/leg though) so decided to bust some out, I chose a mellow lip on the big line as it was the closest to what I had learnt them on and threw it and rode away clean and managed to complete the rest of the line, pretty stoked to nail it on a jump of that size and only the second one that I had landed. I threw together another run with a 3drop, flip, fronty, tuck and a fist pump over the last double to finish the run. I was pretty stoked but I had had an idea in my head (not sure where from) that I could frontie the same flat drop that Brian the bastard did last year. I threw it and ended up poping out my shoulder that I had surgery on 1.5 years ago, I was pretty pissed off about it, I can handle the time off fine but dislocations reoccur easily. I am yet to see any footage or photos of my attempt but for me to bust my shoulder the way I did it must have been afew degrees under rotated in my eyes, maby off a bigger drop someday. That was the end of the day for me but there ware still lots of highlights including Elmo stepping up and 3ing the drop and same with Kelly, Luke and Kelly tuck flipping and Luke throwing a tuck frontie! He almost rode away as well but missed his handle bar.
|5th-Lewis 4th-Elmo 3rd-Kelly 2nd-Luke 1st-me|
I didn't know who was going to win the jam but I guessed it would be between me and Luke. I've been riding with Luke heaps lately so didn't mind him beating me (although i obviously wanted to win!) but in the end I got more votes so was stoked on that. To be honest though winning a comp isn't worth it when you break yourself but still super stoked on successfully defending my title.
|Practice. Photo Craig 'candybar' Owen|
The day ended with a mean feed put on for all the riders and helpers and drinks all round. Cheers to all the Frews and people that helped organise the event. That's it for me for the next 6 weeks, lots of sitting around doing nothing.