Waihi welcome as beach hop revs up

JILL CLEAVE
Last updated 13:53 27/03/2014
BEACH HOP
Jill Cleave

SHINY BRIGHT: Tony Rika of Hamilton and friend Arthur Stirling from Katikati check out a 1947 Jailbar tip truck.

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Waihi turned on the sunshine and turned back the clock to the rock'n'roll era yesterday when it hosted the Warm Up Party for Beach Hop 2014.

Thousands of people packed the main street to see some of the best classic cars in New Zealand as entrants to the Whangamata Beach Hop parked up ahead of the weekend's main event.

Go Waihi co-ordinator Brian Gentil said he was rapt with the day, calling it a fantastic start to the beach hop.

"People have been telling me there were more people here this year and more cars so we must be doing something right here in Waihi," he said.

He said the owners of these beautiful classic cars know they can come here and relax and have a wander around and look at other cars knowing theirs are safe.

There were a few thrills and spills in this year's drag race, with a member of La Divas Boart Divas taking a fall and busting his boobs and one of the Dairy Queens pulling a calf muscle.

Mr Gentil said Whangamata Beach Hop organiser Noddy Watts told him the day was better than any previous one.

"I am stoked to say they will be coming back to Waihi next year," he said.

Winners of the Gold FM Drag Race were the Banana Pepper Tarts, with the Mitre 10 Mustang Sallys in second and the Newmont Waihi Gold Golden Moles in for third place.

Best classic of the day car went to Bryan Rasmussen of New Plymouth with his 1957 white Oldsmobile.

Best hot rod went to Ivan Junovich of Auckland for his 1933 red Coupe.

Best dressed man was Gary Morris from Queensland, Australia, and best dressed woman was Dawn Freestone of Waihi.

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- Waikato

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