Rain fails to dampen Seafest spir­its


It was touch and go, and the weather cer­tainly didn’t play ball, but a sell-out crowd flooded into Kaiko¯ura for the quake-hit town’s favourite event - Seafest.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion op­er­a­tors in the town re­ported full houses, and even the back­pack­ers’ hos­tel, which had been quiet since the quake in Novem­ber last year, was full to the brim.

The event drew peo­ple from all over, and buses were busy fer­ry­ing rev­ellers into town from out­ly­ing camp grounds.

Event man­ager Sheena Hamil­ton said all 4000 tick­ets had been sold.

‘‘It’s been great for Kaiko¯ura - well above ex­pec­ta­tions .... many thanks to those that came from out of town.

‘‘Thank you for sup­port­ing us,’’ Hamil­ton said.

Ekow Quainoo from Christchurch, said it was good to be able to sup­port the town.

‘‘Stand up tall - kia kaha Kaiko¯ura,’’ Quainoo said.

The fes­ti­val is in its 37th year, and is cen­tred around the seafood the Kaiko¯ura re­gion is known for.

The nau­ti­cal theme car­ried over into the cos­tumes. As the af­ter­noon wore on the Big Top was heav­ing with pi­rates, and an as­sort­ment of marine life - sharks, jel­ly­fish, lob­sters and mer­maids.

While the rain was per­sis­tent, noth­ing could de­ter the crowd’s en­ergy and peo­ple were still pour­ing in the gates at 2pm as queues formed 100 me­tres down the road.

Des­ti­na­tion Kaiko¯ura man­ager Glenn Ormsby said or­gan­is­ers had hoped ticket sales would be sim­i­lar to last year.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic peo­ple have come to sup­port. The crowd seemed very happy.

‘‘It’s un­for­tu­nate about the weather, but you can’t con­trol that.’’

Sergeant Mike War­dle from Traf­fic Al­co­hol Group said the crowd had been re­laxed.

‘‘Peo­ple have made the ex­tra ef­fort to come here and sup­port the event, and they’re pos­i­tive de­spite the weather.

He said they had put a lot of cars through the ve­hi­cle check­point the night be­fore and it was pleas­ing they hadn’t picked up any­one with a high breath al­co­hol read­ing.

Josiane McGre­gor from Ran­giora said she was hav­ing a fan­tas­tic time.

‘‘We brought the kids here so they can have fun. It doesn’t mat­ter about the weather.’’


A frenzy of sharks, from left, Hay­den An­drews, Matt Fat­plin, Ryan Cock­ing, and Tyler Kon­ing, of Christchurch.

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