Motocross star returns for Jam

JONATHON HOWE
Last updated 12:00 21/02/2012
Freestyle motocross star Levi Sherwood takes to the air along with other riders in a demonstration show held in The Square, Palmerston North, last year.
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

EXTREME AIR: Freestyle motocross star Levi Sherwood takes to the air along with other riders in a demonstration show held in The Square, Palmerston North, last year.

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International motocross star Levi Sherwood will return to Palmerston North on Saturday to headline the second annual FMX Jam.

About 4500 people went to last year's event in The Square to see Sherwood – an X-Games medallist and Nitro Circus Live tour member – and company perform aerial acrobatics.

But organisers have attempted to bolster the crowd numbers on Saturday by gaining the services of Australian rider Truman Carroll, who recently signed with the Metal Mulisha team, and homegrown stars Jason White and Nick Franklin.

Palmerston North rider Mitch McHardy was to have taken part but injuries forced him into a commentary role.

Event organiser Josh Irwin, of AFC Motorcycles, said the free event was a celebration of motocross.

"They'll be doing backflipping, they'll be doing supermans, they'll be doing the full range of any Red Bull X-fighters event," he said.

"The main thing is we want to do it for the community."

He said it was a balancing act as the event needed to break even, but there was also no charge for spectators. The motocross scene was "huge" in Manawatu but many people were still unaware of the homegrown talent the region had produced, he said.

"We just need to promote our local riders, which are Levi and Jason and Mitch.

"Levi can walk down the street here and no-one knows who he is because we don't do a good enough job of promoting him here in New Zealand. He walks down the street overseas and he'll get mobbed by 200 people, that's the difference.

"He likes to do this sort of thing because he's paying back his community, which has helped him out so much."

Mr Irwin said he would like to hold the event every year, but was looking at venue options.

The jam, which starts at 3pm in The Square, will also feature a BMX riding exhibition, a Rotary Show and Shine display and a graffiti artist, who will create a portrait of the jam.

A signing session with the riders will be held in The Plaza shopping mall from 6.30pm on Thursday.

An R18 after party, which includes a DJ, bands, and a bikini jam, will be held at The Grand from 6pm. Party tickets cost $25.

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- Manawatu Standard

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