The Model Behaviour For Going Down Under

By , August 26, 2010 11:16 pm

One of the top highlights during the Hong Kong trip was the Media Bathtub Race at the Summer Spectacular’s Dragon Boat Carnival. Even though I had previous dragon boating experience and took part in a couple of races, the Bathtub Race rendered years of training null.

Prior to the race, I gey kiang (smart alec) and shared with Aussie Pete, Priscilla, and Violet dragon boat rowing techniques and tips. “Dip the paddle in the water, and pull by rotating your trunk. Dip, pull, dip, pull… one, two, one, two… that’s the rhythm…” I said. And that was the advice that sank the boat of Aussie Pete and model, Priscilla.

This is serious. Don't play play!

According to Pete, Priscilla followed my advice with strict determination and persisted with the one-two routine. But we’ve neglected one crucial factor that led to their Titanic exit from the race – their very apparent disparity in size and weight. One Pete is equivalent to at least two Priscillas.

With the Aussie sitting at the back and the model in front, the ‘bathtub’ tilted like a speedboat, hence displacing their centre of balance to the back. Poor Priscilla’s paddle couldn’t even reach the water! Any slight bodily manifestation of gan cheong-ness (anxiety) would be enough to topple the boat.

They're safe!

Then it happened. Their tub capsized. Both of them got a real taste of Victoria Harbour. “Very salty,” was Pete’s verdict.

The bathtub was really just a rectangular plastic box with two seats. More like a soap dish to me. And the first thing I realized when Violet and I got on was that it was extremely buoyant. Forget about rowing technique, balancing the tub was top priority.

On top of that, the tub was really sensitive to every stroke of the paddle so steering required utmost concentration. Thankfully, Violet and I managed to stay afloat and came in 2nd out of 5 teams (2 from Singapore, 1 from Malaysia, 1 from India, 1 from Philippines). The Filipino team won the race.

The Dream Team

What really amazes me about the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival was that it is such an important event with celebrities and stars taking part in the races. There were TVB actors and actresses, and members from the South Korean boyband, U-KISS. I have no idea who they are but judging from the number of screaming fans present, they must be pretty popular. Here’s a song by them :

[youtube CtLWGX5yHFs nolink]

After the Dragon Boat Carnival experience in Hong Kong, I kinda miss my dragon boating days… the camaraderie, the rush during a race, the rigourous workouts, the perpetually tanned look, the improved level of fitness… I wonder if I’ll ever get back into the game again.

But thanks to this special arrangement by omy.sg and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I got a chance to rekindle that not-so-long-ago past and get a hard-to-come-by feel (but not the taste) of paddling down Victoria Harbour.

Let's triumph over cancer!

For more photos, please visit my album A Lingering Fragrance.

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