Queenstown-based mountain biker Kelly McGarry launched Queenstown Bike Festival with a backflip off classic steamer the TSS Earnslaw.
McGarry plunged into the chilly waters of Lake Wakatipu on Friday – and says afterwards it wasn’t as cold as he feared.
The Kiwi bike star – who hucked a backflip over a 22-metre canyon gap in Utah last year – rode along planks set down to protect the roof of 101-year-old ‘Lady of the Lake’ before hitting his home-made ramp and ‘landing’ his jump on the water more than eight metres below, to the cheers of about 100 spectators.
“It’s a pretty cool way to kick off the bike fest,” McGarry says.
“There were heaps of people and a good vibe down on the wharf. It was pretty cold in the water … and it’s certainly one of the wetter landings I’ve had.”
The festival continues runs through until Sunday.