Fun the key to success: winner

The 2014 Slopestyle event, held on Thursday night at the Ballarat St car park, attracted thousands of people who braved the bitterly cold temperatures to take in the action. The event was won by Conor McFarlane, who took home $1300. Photo by riverleaphotography.com
The 2014 Slopestyle event, held on Thursday night at the Ballarat St car park, attracted thousands of people who braved the bitterly cold temperatures to take in the action. The event was won by Conor McFarlane, who took home $1300. Photo by riverleaphotography.com
The third time was a charm for Queenstown's Conor McFarlane, who was crowned winner of the 2014 Slopestyle event on Thursday night.

Part of the Queenstown Bike Festival, the annual slopestyle competition - New Zealand's only Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) World Tour 2014 event - attracted thousands of spectators, who braved the bitterly cold night to enjoy the action.

McFarlane finally won the title, having finished third last year and runner-up in 2012.

His third run score of 88 edged out Wanaka's Elmo Cotter by two points.

Phil McLean, of Christchurch, finished third.

McFarlane said it was the first big competition he had won, other than Farm Jam.

''It's been a while so I'm pretty happy.

''We're always at the jumps just having fun and when you're having fun, that's when the tricks happen. I reckon having fun's the most important thing to progress you.''

Top amateur was 16-year-old Hamish Burrows, of Dunedin, with a best score of 79, putting him ahead of Invercargill's Levi Goodall on 73 and Jeremy Cox, of Queenstown, on 69.

Best trick was awarded to Paul Langland, who performed a front-flip tail whip, the first time he had landed it in a contest.

German visitor Jonas Berndt was second and Phil McLean again took third spot.

Event manager Fraser Gordon was full of praise for both the riders and his team.

''It's a testament to the spectacle these guys put on that so many people came out to watch, and we couldn't have put on the event without the help of our outstanding volunteers and crew.''