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Yamaha New Zealand Festival of Freeride returns in 2021

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Yamaha New Zealand Festival of Freeride

The Yamaha New Zealand Festival of Freeride will be held from 12 to 13 February at Karioitahi Beach near Waiuku. Photo: Supplied

The Yamaha New Zealand Festival of Freeride is back again this summer with the annual two-day event kicking off at Karioitahi Beach, Waiuku on 12 February.

Yamaha NZ Festival of Freeride is where personal watercraft riding meets freestyle motocross with riders performing surfing manoeuvres and tricks jumping off waves – a sport that is exciting for both riders and spectators.

Open to riders of all abilities, the event has a number of sessions and competitions take place, such as ‘The Biggest Air competition’, which sees riders try and do the highest jump off a wave, the ‘Sickest Trick’ sees riders attempting the most technical tricks, and the ‘Cherry Popper’ for all those riders that are trying a backflip for the first time.

Now in its ninth year, the event has grown enormously with event organiser Richard Webb expecting the 2021 edition to be the biggest yet.

“The Yamaha NZ Festival of Freeride has become the biggest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere and showcases some of the best riders down under,” said Webb.

The event has grown and grown every year in popularity. We had close to 70 riders last year, and for 2021, we’re already looking to break event attendance records.

“Obviously, with COVID-19, it’s been a pretty challenging year, and it’s unlikely we’ll see any of the riders from Australia coming over to compete, but the enthusiasm is still there from the Kiwi contingent, so we look forward to seeing the internationals again in 2022 for the big 10-year event.”​​

Yamaha New Zealand is the naming rights sponsor once again and are eager to hit the west coast surf in February.

“We can’t wait for the ninth year of this spectacular event and to partner again with Richard Webb and the Yamaha NZ Festival of Freeride team; it’s always a highlight on the Yamaha summer calendar,” said Yamaha Marine marketing manager, Pete Dick.

“It’s also another great opportunity to work again with our dealer partner, Rogers Boat Shop, who has been supporting the event since its inception.

Having just launched its 2021 WaveRunner range, Yamaha will look to have a number of new models on display, including the all-new SuperJet standup WaveRunner, now powered by the 1049cc four-stroke TR-1 marine engine.

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