Record entries expected at picturesque venue

Organisers of New Zealand's Farm Jam are accepting expressions of interest from riders eager to experience the two-wheeled action sports event on March 1.

The BMX, MTB courses and FMX compounds are already receiving many upgrades for 2014, and, with media exposure from previous years, gaining worldwide attention.

Organisers Dan and Brett Frew are anticipating a record number of both local and international riders to converge on their picturesque venue in the Otapiri Gorge.

However, because of a sharp increase in popularity and rider attendance over the past few years, the 2014 event will have limited entry spots available across FMX, BMX and MTB.

International riders, in particular, are being encouraged to email their expressions of interest as soon as possible for consideration.

"While it's exciting to see so many excited riders getting behind our event, it's grown to the stage where we need to start capping entries," Brett Frew said.

"It was a tough call but, in order for the Farm Jam to run smoothly and showcase the best action, it's a necessary step we need to take."

In particular, the FMX and freeride competitions are attracting a burgeoning number of overseas riders, causing challenges locating enough motocross bikes - especially YZ250s - for the riders.

In order to streamline the process for next year, a panel will rank the FMX riders who register their expression of interest, and invitations to compete will then be sent out. If a rider cannot make the Farm Jam, their position will be offered to the next-ranked rider.

"We're really excited at the booming number of international FMX riders wanting to compete, but in the past helping them source bikes has been a challenge," Dan Frew said.

"This new selection and invitation system will help us maintain an extremely high calibre of riders and showcase the sport to our thousands of spectators, as well as streamline the process leading up to the Jam."

The Southland Times