Turning up to an empty Esplanade for the cruise to the Repco Tairua Beach Party had us almost stumped. However the overflowing Williamson Park gave it away that the start point had shifted. And it made sense — more entrants than ever showed up, soon filling the reserve to capacity.
Drivers and casual spectators did their best to have a look at all of the cars and if they were anything like us, this resulted in a mad dash back to our own car to make sure we didn’t hold up a queue of a hundred or so other cars.
On the 35km jaunt to Tairua, local schools were out in force with kids yelling for drivers to beep their horns or rev their engines. By the time we hit Tairua almost every car park in town had already been nabbed and minutes later the beachfront started filling up with crew members who ushered cars into position with military precision and enormous smiles to match.
While the first cars had been parked for an hour or so, the final cars were just leaving the start point, so you can only imagine how cool the procession was for those who had lined the streets to watch the cars roll past.
Look out for coverage in our next issue, on sale Monday April 7, and our full 122-page coverage in our 2014 Beach Hop Annual, on sale late April.