Kelly McGarry (credit

Queenstown Bike Festival opens with Kelly McGarry backflipping into Lake Wakatipu from TSS Earnslaw

New Zealand mountain bike star Kelly McGarry opened the 2014 Queenstown Bike Festival this morning by performing a backflip on his bike from the roof of the iconic 101-year old TSS Earnslaw into the chilly waters of Lake Wakatipu.

With blue sky and the Remarkables mountain range creating a picture-perfect backdrop for the expectant crowd watching, McGarry rode along the TSS Earnslaw’s roof and around the smoking chimneys before hitting his homemade ramp and ‘landing’ his jump on the water some 25 feet below. Local jet boat operator K-Jet picked him up and delivered him safe but soggy back to the wharf.


“Jumping off a Queenstown icon like the Earnslaw was a pretty cool way to kick off the Bike Festival. There were heaps of people and a good vibe down on the wharf. It was pretty cold in the water but not too bad, and it’s certainly one of the wetter landings I’ve had!” said Kelly.

McGarry is no stranger to dramatic jumps. Last year he also opened the Queenstown Bike Festival by jumping on his bike from AJ Hackett’s The Ledge Bungy on Bob’s Peak. In October he landed a backflip across a 22 metre canyon in Utah during the Red Bull Rampage, the film clip of which has now had more than 17 million hits on YouTube.

Queenstown Bike Festival continues tomorrow (Saturday) with the Vertigo Bikes Super D Enduro at Queenstown Bike Park and after party at Surreal Bar.

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