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Scramble tomorrow for bun championship

     The annual Bun Scrambling Competition will be held tomorrow (May 2) at the soccer pitch of Cheung Chau Pak Tai Temple Playground, with the opening ceremony at 11.30pm and the start of the competition at midnight.

     The Bun Scrambling Competition is the finale of the 2009 Bun Carnival which is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

     This year's competition attracted 166 applications. A total of 112 received safety training on bun tower climbing and accident prevention provided by the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union on April 18 and 19. After the training, 85 participants took part in the selection competition on April 25. The 12 participants who climbed the bun tower in the shortest time entered the Bun Scrambling Competition.

     To make the competition more appealing and encourage more women to participate, a new arrangement is being introduced this year to reserve two places for female contestants in the final.

     The 12 finalists are Lai Chi-wai, Kwok Ka-ming, Heung Yiu, Wong Yu-him, Cheung Man-cheung, Yip Ting-wai, Leung Chun-kit, Ho Sin-fai, Choi Kwok-tung, Wong Tsz-kiu, Lisa Cheng Lai-sho and Wong Ka-yan.

     The 14-metre-tall bun tower has a diameter of three metres. It is covered with bamboo sticks studded with about 9,000 replica buns. The bun tower is divided into three zones from top to bottom studded with buns of nine-score, three-score and one-score. Words in green, yellow and red are printed on the bottom of the various buns. The contestant who has the highest total score from the three-minute bun grab will be the champion.

     The individual race will be followed by a relay competition. Three teams from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Macau - Guangzhou team, Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoorsports Association and Clube de Escalada Guia Macau - have been invited to take part in the competition. They will compete with five teams from Cheung Chau - The Petrel Athletic Association, Cheung Chau Sai Wan Ma Sing Temple Management Association, Spirit Sports Association, Cheung Chau Tung Tai San Tsuen Residents Fraternity Association and Cheung Chau Hoi Luk Fung Cultural and Recreation Association.

     Two members of each team will take turns to grab specified buns at the top of the tower. The team getting the buns in the shortest time will be the winner.

     Trophies made and sponsored by Lukfook Jewellery will be awarded to the winners and the winning teams.

     All participants have to follow the rules of the competition. Participants must climb vertically and are forbidden to climb sideways or climb with the aid of others. They are not allowed to pull other participants' clothing or safety gear or step on other participants.

     Due to limited space, apart from invited guests, the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground will accommodate 1,500 spectators.

     People who are interested in watching the competition at the soccer pitch are requested to queue up at Pak She First Lane, next to the Cheung Chau Fire Station. Admission tickets will be distributed from 10pm. Each person will be given one ticket while the tickets last. When spectators have received their tickets, they should stay in the queue. When admission starts at 10.30pm, people should follow instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers and enter the spectator zones 1 to 4 in an orderly manner.

     Some of the replica buns will be distributed to spectators and the rest will be re-used next year. Redemption coupons will be issued to the spectators. Redemption can be made during office hours from May 5 to 15 at Cheung Chau Sports Centre, Praya Street Sports Centre or the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central. One coupon will redeem one replica bun. Special arrangements will be made for people redeeming the replica buns from 9am to noon on May 9 (Saturday) at the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central.

     TVB Jade, iNews Digital Channel, TVB Payvision News Channel, Cable TV Live News Channel, now Direct Channel and Phoenix Info News Channel will broadcast the event live. Members of the public can choose to enjoy the spectacle at home.

     Notices will be put up from 6pm at Pier 5 in Central informing people of the schedule of the event. Notices and enquiry counters will be put up at Cheung Chau Pier and the entrance of the Pak Tai Temple Playground.

     First Ferry will arrange an additional ferry trip from Cheung Chau to Central at 1.15am on Sunday (May 3). Extra ferry trips will be arranged as necessary. From about 12.30am to 2.30am on that day, the bus company will operate a special cross harbour bus route 104R, running from Pier 5 in Central to Mong Kok. Overnight bus services, which leave from the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central, will be re-routed to operate via Pier 5 in Central. These routes are: N8X (to Siu Sai Wan), N90 (to South Horizons), N182 (to Kwong Yuen, Sha Tin) and N619 (to Shun Lee, Kwun Tong).

     People who want to watch the competition on Cheung Chau are advised to be co-operative and to follow the instructions given by the Police and staff of the organisers. To enjoy this traditional activity, they should be patient in crowded places.

Ends/Friday, May 1, 2009


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