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X*Air games to dominate the city this weekend

18 January 2006

X*Air games to dominate the city this weekend

The capital will be ablaze with energy this weekend when more than 140 of the world’s best extreme sports stars come to compete in Vodafone X*Air on Saturday and Sunday.

Vodafone X*Air is a free event featuring BMX, skate, inline and Freestyle Moto-X and this year will add streetball, a gritty up-tempo version of basketball, in Civic Square,.

Wellington City Council Event Organiser Melody Scales says the waterfront will be transformed into an international sporting arena with more than 120,000 people expected.

‘We’re transforming the waterfront into an extreme sports zone. People will be able to roam between a music stage in the upper part of Frank Kitts Park featuring The Fast Crew, 48 May, Shapeshifter and Not Quite Right and the lower section of Frank Kitts Parks where they can check out breakdancing, market stalls and food vendors.”

Ms Scales says the Events Centre at Queens Wharf will host the BMX, inline and skate street course while the Michael Fowler Centre car park will feature the BMX dirt jump.

“Not all of the action is out of doors – we’re reminding people to go inside the Michael Fowler Centre to catch the half-pipe competition and view the massive half-pipe ramp that has been shipped from Austria especially for the event.”

The lagoon has received a makeover with a giant launch ramp for the “anything with wheels” competition and a four-metre bomb tower erected to discover the best “bombers” and “belly-floppers” in the crowd. A big screen in the lagoon area will show action from all the venues.

The line-up of international extreme sports athletes for Vodafone X*Air is unmatched by any other extreme sporting event in the country, and Vodafone X*Air is in the unique position of having to turn international competitors away. Star athletes competing this year include BMX pinups Koji Kraft and Cory Nastazio, inline legend Shane Yost and skaters Colt Cannon and Tosh Townend.

TranzRail has doubled train capacity on the Johnsonville, Hutt Valley and Paraparaumu lines on both Saturday and Sunday from 9am–7pm. High pedestrian numbers are expected along Jervois Quay and Wakefield Street, and motorists are being urged to take care as they drive through the city.

There will be no parking on Harris Street and the Central Library car park will be closed from midnight Friday 20 January to midnight Monday 23 January in the event that Harris Street is used as a back-up for the Freestyle Moto-X.

A liquor ban will be in place from 8pm Friday 20 January until 6am Tuesday 24 January. The ban means it is illegal to consume or possess liquor in public spaces in central Wellington. As part of Vodafone X*Air, two licensed areas will be operating during the event. Buyers of alcohol will need to produce ID.

The action and entertainment start at noon and finish at 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. If there is bad weather over the weekend events will run on Monday 23 January.

Vodafone X*Air is part of Wellington City Council’s Meridian Energy Summer City festival of free summer events. A copy of the Meridian Energy Summer City programme can be picked up from all City Council facilities and at cafes and supermarkets throughout the city, or by calling the Council on 499 4444 or logging on to www.Wellington.govt.nz


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