Hop puts a skip in or­gan­is­ers’ step

Kaikoura Star - - OUT & ABOUT - PIPPA BROWN

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.

PHOTO: PIPPA BROWN/STUFF

Doug O’Cal­la­han and Fonda No­vis with their 1979 Holden Sand­man.

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