World’s Best Extreme Sports Stars Back For Wellington Event
“It’s like being invited to go a round with Tiger!”
Over 80 internationals have already confirmed they will be returning to Wellington for Vodafone X*Air on January 21st and 22nd. The free to the public action sports event is the largest extreme sports event in the Southern hemisphere and boasts a quality of international athletes unmatched by any other sporting event in the country. Vodafone X*Air is even in the unique position of having to turn internationals competitors away.
The way the event is run is a major draw card with the athletes, organiser Mark Wright explains, “Many overseas events are television and profit driven which takes away much of the enjoyment for the athletes. We keep the event pretty relaxed and mainly use a jam format which makes the competition more relaxed and the environment more like hanging out and riding with your mates”.
The jam format also allows the athletes to push each other and encourages outstanding performances like that of this year’s Haro BMX street winner Alistair Whitton from the UK. Whitton pulled his first ever backflip tailwhip (spinning the bike 360 degrees underneath him while performing a backflip) to take out the star studded competition. The roster of talent he will compete against in 06 includes X Games and Gravity Games legends Ryan Nyquist, Corey Bohan, Stevie McCann, Gary Young, and the current man to beat Ryan Guettler.
Local BMX star Haimona Ngata sums up the caliber of athletes he will be competing against, “it’s like being invited to go a round with Tiger on the PGA, these guys are the superstars of the sport”.
The other disciplines including Skate, Inline and FMX are also shaping up to be the toughest competition seen in New Zealand. US skate stars, Element riders Colt Cannon and Tosh Townend travel hard all over the globe and are “Psyched” to be coming to Wellington for the first time. They are part of a new wave of action sports stars, they have their own custom shoes and equipment (skateboard, bike etc.), are making 6 figure salaries in endorsements. They also epitomise what professional extreme sports are all about – talent, progression, freedom and fun.