The 2018 Farm Jam was one for the record books as the largest-ever contingent of world-class international riders pitted their skills against the local Kiwi heroes, who more than held their own around the freestyle motocross, BMX and mountain-bike contests on Saturday afternoon.
At what has been deemed to be the biggest, most successful and most competitive Farm Jam yet, Australia’s BMX UCI World Champion Logan Martin defended his crown against a hard-charging 2013 Farm Jam champion Kyle Baldock. Martin, 24, and Baldock were in a league of their own as they pushed each other to the limit in front of an estimated 3,000 spectators. Crowd favourite, and long-time Farm Jam rider, Michael “Hucker” Clark (USA) rounded out the BMX podium.
“The thing I love about Farm Jam is that it just feels like a session with the boys and to come away with another win here is amazing,” Martin said afterward. “It definitely means something when it’s your fellow riders are enjoying what you’re doing. That means a lot, and the vibe of the contest is always pretty special.”
The freestyle motocross competition saw local rider Andrew Jackson topple some of the biggest names in the sport as he flipped and whipped his way to the win ahead of American freeriding phenomenon Tyler Bereman and legendary Australian FMX rider Jake Bowen. Bereman destroyed the field in the freeride contest on Friday, but 24-year-old Jackson from Gore stunned everyone with his relentless bag of tricks and whips Saturday’s freestyle competition. When the results from the two contests were collated, Jackson came away with a memorable win.
“I’m so surprised to come away with the win!” Jackson beamed afterward. “I came in with no expectations, with top guys such as Tyler and Josh Sheehan coming over this year. I just thought I’d do the best I could and practised a lot on similar jumps leading up to the Farm Jam, but yeah, to win this is a dream come true.”
The mountain-bike contest saw the largest ever influx of international athletes, with almost three-quarters of the star-studded field hailing from abroad. Even though the field was the strongest in the Farm Jam’s 10-year history, UK 23-year-old Matt Jones continued his dominance to win his third straight Farm Jam crown with his trademark style and amplitude. Second place went to always-impressive Raglan rider Lewis Jones, with US-based rider Ray George rounding out the podium.
“The level of riding today was by far the highest it’s ever been in the mountain-bike contest, and I’m a little bit surprised to win,” admits Jones. “For me though, the most impressive part of the day is the fact you have the Frew brothers, who are all family men with kids and full-time farming jobs, but love nothing more than putting the smiles on the faces of everyone who rides here. What they do is remarkable and we’re so lucky to have people like that putting on high quality events.”
Farm Jam organisers Dan and Brett Frew were ecstatic on how the entire day unfolded and the high level of riding that was on offer.
“The weather came right, the riding level was at an all-time high, and we couldn’t be more stoked with how it all went,” says Dan. “From Tyler Bereman pushing the limits in the hills, right through to the ridiculous tricks that thousands of people witnessed in the BMX and mountain-bike contests, the 2018 Farm Jam was an amazing day that will go down as one of the best, if not the best, event we’ve ever organised.”
The next Farm Jam will be held in early 2020 at the same venue in Winton, New Zealand.
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