Hop puts a skip in organisers’ step
Organisers of this year’s Kaiko¯ura Hop said the car show turned out a success despite problems with the roads, and a shortage of accommodation.
‘‘Overall it was a fun fantastic weekend,’’ said Doug O’Callahan.
‘‘People have said they had a great weekend and were very happy.’’
Hop City came alive at the South Bay Racecourse on Thursday for the four-day weekend of cars, cruising, fun, food and entertainment.
Registrations were down on last year because of a lack of accommodation, restaurants and bars due to earthquake damage.
‘‘People were worried about bringing their high-end flash cars over rough conditions and dirt roads so there was a misconception about how things were, but putting it all into perspective the numbers of cars entered was very good,’’ said O’Callahan.
‘‘Saturday was always going to be the big day.
‘‘There were probably in excess of 700 cars in the grounds on Saturday and this was exceptional, as day trippers made their way to Kaiko¯ura,’’ he said.
With State Highway 1 to the north closed, changes had to be made to the programme.
‘‘The practicality of cruising out of town this year was zero, so we just stayed and played in town and everyone loved it.
‘‘We had lots of games, including scavenger hunts, poker runs, beach parties, and the big burnout this year was popular.’’
O’Callahan said the problems caused by the earthquake meant there was about five times the amount of work organising the event this year.
‘‘There were a whole lot of issues we had to deal with.
O’Callahan said the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance (NCTIR) were very helpful but the roads was a big unknown, and no one knew what was going to happen until closer to the time.
‘‘We spent six months talking to NCTIR, who made changes to their works schedule and extended the State Highway 1 opening hours south of Kaiko¯ura to accommodate us. So the numbers we got this year were impressive considering.’’
There may have been fewer cars but entries in Miss Kaiko¯ura Hop almost doubled.
‘‘We expected about 30, but 50 ladies entered for Miss Kaiko¯ura Hop on Saturday,’’ said Miss Kaiko¯ura Hop organiser Fonda Novis.
The couple are already planning for next year when O’Callahan expects to see about 40 per cent more cars.
‘‘I expect we will do over 1000 registered cars, and have over 1400 here on the weekend,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a very successful weekend, it was a great weekend. Next year things will be bigger, better and a whole lot easier,’’ he said.
Doug O’Callahan and Fonda Novis with their 1979 Holden Sandman.