Kiwi BMXer Paul Langlands capped off a fruitful month of dirt riding by retaining his BMX crown at the 2011 Unit Farm Jam in Southland, New Zealand at the end of February.
Fresh off a second-placing at the Red Bull Dirt Pipe behind Unit rider Jed Mildon, then impressing thousands of people with his huge combos at Cam White's Hillside Dirt Jam, Langlands was in form heading into the Farm Jam.
The North Islander didn't disappoint, and proceeded to stamp his authority on both the 10-pack dirt-double trail and the techy hip line, with big, smooth combos, aggression and amplitude on the perfectly-sculpted jumps.
"You couldn't have asked for a better day," said the 22-year-old afterward. "The Frews put on a perfect day with the sweetest backdrop. I've been trying to find the balance between going hard without getting caned and I think it's working for me. I was keen to get loose on the big line, but we ran out of time and I'll have to save it for next time."
The 2011 BMX line-up was bolstered with the last-minute inclusion of Red Bull X Games rider Anthony Napolitan. The Las Vegas resident took the opportunity to ride the unique event while on holiday in Australia, and fell in love with the picturesque, remote venue, chilled atmosphere and rider-voted judging format.
"It's unlike any event I've ever been to before," he said while adding some new spokes to his rear wheel. "The hip line is one of the best lines I've ever ridden, and even though it's a contest it honestly just feels like a big group of friends getting together and throwing down in front of thousands of people. New Zealand is amazing and I'm already excited about returning next year."
Christchurch's Jake Prebble finished second in the contest, despite knocking himself out cold early in the day. After a few minutes to collect his thoughts he returned to the fray with a 360 Double Can, and continued shredding as if nothing had happened.
More than 2000 fans from around the remote corner of New Zealand's South Island, grateful for a temporary relief from the massive earthquake disaster hours away in Christchurch, piled through the gates of the Frew brothers’ 2500-acre farm to witness some of the best riders in the world throw down on the BMX, FMX and MTB contests.
Organisers Dan and Brett Frew have again raised the bar of this unique Farm Jam event. Even though it’s blowing up more and more as each year passes, they’ve still managed to maintain the chilled atmosphere and family togetherness of the two-wheeled action sports.
With both 2010 and 2011 blowing all expectations out of the water and capturing the world’s attention, the 2012 event is already shaping up to be something incredible.
UNIT DONATES $5000 TO RED CROSS EARTHQUAKE APPEAL
Following the devastating earthquake in Christchurch last week, Unit has announced it will donate $5000 AUD towards the New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.
The disaster has so far claimed 155 lives and affected hundreds of thousands more in New Zealand's second-largest city. It has been New Zealand's worst natural disaster since the 1931 Napier earthquake, which killed at least 256 people.
"Both New Zealand and Australia have been in shock this week following the events in Christchurch last Tuesday," says Unit CEO Ian Everest. "There is a strong bond between Aussies and Kiwis, and we want to assist and support those affected during this terrible time. Our thoughts are with all those who have had their lives torn apart by this tragedy."
Mr. Everest encouraged people to donate to the New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Appeal by visiting www.redcross.org.nz.
2011 Unit Farm Jam Results:
1 Paul Langlands, NZ
2 Jake Prebble, NZ
3 Anthony Napolitan, USA
4 Jed Mildon, NZ (Unit)
5 Louis Bolter, NZ
1 Josh Sheehan, WA
2 Matt Schubring, QLD (Unit)
3 Rhys Hillier, VIC
4 Steve Sommerfeld, QLD
5 Blake O'Connor, NZ
1 Conor MacFarlane, NZ
2 Luke McCombie, NZ
3 Kelly McGarry, NZ (Unit)
4 Elmo Cotter, NZ
5 Lewis Jones, NZ
Best Trick: Josh Sheehan, Flatspin 360 (FMX)
Best Whip: Joe Sheppard, QLD (FMX, Unit) and Greg Cochrane, NZ (MTB)
Best Style: Dean Manson, VIC (BMX)