MacFarlane Victorious At 2011 Unit Farm Jam





Invercargill local MTB rider Conor MacFarlane held off a hungry field of riders to successfully defend his MTB crown at the 2011 Unit Farm Jam at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island.

The contest essentially boiled down to a two-man duel between MacFarlane and his riding buddy Luke McCombie, as the pair Front-flipped their way ahead of the rest of the field and pushed each other to new heights.


MacFarlane, 20, had only learnt the Front-flip a week before the Farm Jam while riding with McCombie, but mixed it in with the rest of his massive bag of tricks (including Backflipping a tiny step-down most riders barely tricked). At the end of the day the likeable Southlander attempted to Front-flip the northshore drop-in, but under-rotated and dislocated his shoulder in the ensuing crash.

“I had surgery on that shoulder one-and-a-half years ago, which I was pretty pissed off about,” he said afterward. “I can handle the time off the bike, but dislocations reoccur easily. Maybe I’ll have to try the trick off a bigger drop on day so I stick the landing.”

Fresh off a broken collarbone, Unit rider Kelly McGarry ignored the pain threshold and charged hard to finish third in the contest for the second year running.

McGarry rode hard while trying to keep within his limits, but that didn’t stop him 360ing the 3m northshore drop and busting his trademark No-Handed Backflips.

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.


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



Invercargill’s Conor MacFarlane attempts to Frontflip the drop-in on his way to defending his Unit Farm Jam title. PHOTO: SIMON MAKKER/UNITRIDERS.COM


Unit rider Kelly McGarry rode solidly despite a recently broken collarbone to finish third overall. PHOTO: SIMON MAKKER/UNITRIDERS.COM

2011 Unit Farm Jam Results:


1 Conor MacFarlane, NZ

2 Luke McCombie, NZ

3 Kelly McGarry, NZ (Unit)

4 Elmo Cotter, NZ

5 Lewis Jones, NZ


1 Josh Sheehan, WA

2 Matt Schubring, QLD (Unit)

3 Rhys Hillier, VIC

4 Steve Sommerfeld, QLD

5 Blake O’Connor, NZ


1 Paul Langlands, NZ

2 Jake Prebble, NZ

3 Anthony Napolitan, USA

4 Jed Mildon, NZ (Unit)

5 Louis Bolter, NZ


1 Connor McFarlane, NZ

2 Luke McCrombie, 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)

About Unit Technologies: Unit Technologies was started by motocross fanatics and brothers Paul and Ian Everest on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2002, as a brand dedicated to the two-wheeled action-sports lifestyle. Since its inception eight years ago, the company has grown from a small operation based in a garage to a multi-million-dollar business that’s arguably the world’s fastest growing action-sports clothing brand.


Simon Makker

Communications & Athlete Manager

About the author: Mtbr is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.

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