Flipping good X-Fighter fun
Union Buildings to have more fan capacity this year
South Africa’s lone Freestyle Motor Cross (FMX) athlete Nick de Wit will miss out on Saturday’s Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The rider is currently on paternity leave following the birth of his son. However, he will be there as a reserve, meaning he might participate should somebody get hurt or be unable to ride.
South Africa will be the fourth stop of the extreme sport’s world tour after Mexico, Greece and Spain. The final will take place in the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi in October.
The event was sold out in South Africa last year, with 22 000 spectators attending, and this year the organisers have increased the space to accommodate more seats for the fans to experience the front- and backflip stunts the FMX athletes are renowned for.
Chief course designer-builder Dane Herron told City Press South Africa’s course would be the fairest. He pointed out that the Greek course was too rocky. He added that building such structures was not an easy task and in some countries he did not use dirt.
“The most challenging project was building the Egypt course, where we used wood instead of dirt, and the Glen Helen course in the US because of its size,” said Herron.
He said they had special quarter pipes set up for the riders for the first time on the tour. New Zealander Levi Sherwood will not be partaking in the event due to his ankle injury and will be replaced with Botswana’s Alastair Sayer.
“We have special quarter pipes set up for the guys to do the Egg Roll, which is a backflip that goes in a circle like a loop. Riders take off from the middle ramp and land on the dirt,” he said.
The Red Bull X-Fighters is the most prestigious FMX event in the world . Last year’s winner was Josh Sheehan, who is currently far behind current leader and fellow Australian Clinton Moore.
The overall winners are unlikely to be determined in Pretoria due to the tight log standings and will have to wait until the decider in Abu Dhabi.