A family day in true Marlborough Sounds’ style – kids, picnics, deckchairs, sack races, egg-and-spoon races and the tug-of-war – it’s all on at the annual Hopai Sports Day in early January.
Everyone is welcome – the event is part of the Sounds’ tradition stretching back to the 1920s. Generations of Sounds families have kept the sports day going and today’s generations will be there along with the many visitors and holidaymakers who spend summer in the Sounds.
It provides family fun in the old-fashioned way; from the grandma and granddad running races and gumboot throwing to the speedboat racing and wood chopping and the hotly contested Hopai “He Man” race – a swim and a long hill run – open to men and women.
It’s not a commercial event with takeaway food and market stalls – though there are ice creams, cold drinks, a sausage sizzle and the chance to buy a cold beer - but if you’re looking for an authentic ‘Sounds experience’, there’s nothing like the Hopai Sports Day.
The traditional method of transport to the community sports day is by boat and people arrive from all around the Sounds. Charter boats run from Havelock and the Kenepuru. It is also possible to drive, taking the Kenepuru Road to Nopera and turning off at the Crail Bay Road.
More information on the Hopai Sports Day, 5 January 2013, on the Pelorus Promotions website: www.pelorusnz.co.nz/hopai