Beach Hop 2009 was the year that many of us saw far more of Ricki Wood than we care to remember. Performer extraordin­aire Ricki — aka ‘Freddy Fargon’ — was pushing his bright pink T-shirt and far-too-short shorts to the extreme. But the crowd loved it, and, understand­ably, he took out the title of Hop Idol.

Meanwhile, a man with far better fashion sense, Alex Ross, took the title of top overall car with his 1959 Chev Impala — a car that still sees regular Beach Hop attendance today. The other talking point from the event was the attendance of legendary Australian drag racing father-and- son combo Victor and Ben

Bray. Thanks to Castrol, the pair came across with one of Victor’s ’ 57 Chevs — a street car packing a methanol- fuelled supercharg­ed punch. While not quite — nor even close to — street legal, the car ran laps up and down the main street of Whangamata all weekend long, with different passengers inside the vehicle each time.

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