NZV8 - - CONTENTS - Con­nal con­

Every once in a while, I’m sur­prised when a non-car friend has ab­so­lutely no idea what Beach Hop is, let alone the point of it and events like it. The only rea­son that re­ally sur­prises me is on ac­count of just how mas­sive this gath­er­ing is. I was dis­cussing with some­one whether they could think of any event in New Zealand that is larger, and nei­ther of us could think of any­thing on a scale even ap­proach­ing Beach Hop, let alone run­ning with the same reg­u­lar­ity. So, as I write this the week af­ter Repco Beach Hop 18, I can quite hon­estly say that no mat­ter how in­tense it is for our team to cover it prop­erly — my phone counted some­where north of 45,000 steps over the course of the event — the lo­gis­tics of or­ga­niz­ing such an enor­mous un­der­tak­ing have got to far out­weigh just about any other as­pect of it. Con­sider all the road clo­sures and use of pub­lic do­mains, the ex­tra po­lice re­quired, the clean­ing and san­i­ta­tion ser­vices, and all the stuff most of us will just take for granted … shit, I’m glad Noddy and his team keep on putting them­selves through the wringer each year to bring us what we’ve got. The whole idea of Beach Hop is ridicu­lous in the best pos­si­ble way, and I re­al­ized that one night in Whanga­mata on con­sid­er­ing that al­most the en­tire town gets taken over by petrol­heads and their cars. Cruise down any street or side street, and you can bet that well over 90 per cent of your im­me­di­ate res­i­den­tial sur­round­ings will be oc­cu­pied by peo­ple who are there for the Hop. Try to get any­thing like Beach Hop off the ground in 2018, and you’d prob­a­bly fail mis­er­ably, en­snared in kilo­me­tres of bu­reau­cratic red tape. It’s easy to fo­cus on the lit­tle gripes — maybe you got pulled over by the cops, or the line for the petrol sta­tion was too long; in­stead, why don’t we con­grat­u­late ev­ery­one who played a part in mak­ing the best damn fes­ti­val on our cal­en­dar hap­pen once again — the or­ga­niz­ers, the spon­sors, and ev­ery­one who at­tended? Now, I’ve got to help put a mag­a­zine to print (as per) so, rather than keep on writ­ing this and killing the few brain cells I have left af­ter Repco Beach Hop 18, I’m go­ing to chan­nel that en­ergy into help­ing to make this is­sue not suck — al­though it looks like mis­sion ac­com­plished on that front. Hope you’ll agree!

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