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Bun scramblers to vie for championship on Friday

     The annual Bun Scrambling Competition will be held on Friday (May 21) 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 2010 Bun Carnival. This year's competition has attracted 215 applications, of which 145 applicants have received safety training on bun tower climbing and accident prevention provided by the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union. After the training, 83 participants took part in the selection competition on May 15. Nine male and three female participants who climbed the bun tower in the shortest time made it to the Bun Scrambling Competition.

     To add attraction to this year's competition and encourage more women to participate, male and female contestants will be ranked and awarded separately in the final. Three places have been reserved for female participants in the competition for the first time.

     The twelve finalists are Mr Ho Sin-fai, Mr Kwok Ka-ming, Mr Cheung Wai-man, Mr Zenon Chan Ka-shing, Mr Chung Yuk-chuen, Mr Cheung Wai-kwok, Mr Wong Yu-him, Mr Ng Ka-lok, Mr Cheung Man-cheung (a standby contestant to replace Mr Lai Chi-wai who has withdrawn from the competition), Ms Wong Ka-yan, Ms Lam So-mui and Ms Yuen Wing-sze.

     The fourteen-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 and studded with buns each carrying a score of nine, three and one respectively. Words in green, yellow and red are printed on the bottom of the 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 Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – Clube de Escalada Guia Macau, Guangzhou Team, and Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoorsports Association - have been invited to take part in the competition. They will compete with five teams from Cheung Chau – Spirit Sports Association, The Petrel Athletic Association, Cheung Chau Sai Wan Ma Sing Temple Management Association, Cheung Chau Tung Tai San Chuen Residents Fraternity Association, and Wing Kai Far Pau Association Ltd. Two members of each team will take turns to grab specified buns at the top of the tower. The team getting the most buns in the shortest time will be the winner.

     Trophies sponsored by Lukfook Jewellery will be awarded to the champion and the first and second runners-up in the men's team and the relay competition, and the champion of the women's team.

     All participants have to follow the rules of the competition. They are not allowed to carry any offensive weapons. They 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 fellow participants.

     Due to limited space, apart from invited guests, the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground will accommodate 1,500 spectators only. People interested in watching the competition at the soccer pitch can queue up at Pak She First Lane, next to the Cheung Chau Fire Station, and along Ping Chong Road. Admission tickets will be distributed starting at 10pm on May 21. Each person will be given one ticket while tickets last. Spectators with tickets are required to stay in the queue and follow instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers when entering the spectator zones at 10.30pm.

     Some of the replica buns will be distributed to spectators after the competition and the rest will be re-used next year. Redemption coupons, one for each bun, will be issued to spectators for collection of the buns during office hours from May 26 to June 4 at Cheung Chau Sports Centre, Praya Street Sports Centre or the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central. Special arrangements will be made for redemption of the replica buns from 9am to noon on May 29 (Saturday) at the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central.

     Notices on the schedule of the event will be put up from 6pm on May 21 at Pier 5 in Central. Notices and enquiry counters will also be put up at Cheung Chau Pier and the entrance of the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground.

     First Ferry will arrange an additional ferry trip from Cheung Chau to Central at 1.15am on May 22. The bus company will operate a special cross harbour bus route 104R, running from Pier 5 in Central to Mong Kok from about 1am to 2.30am on May 22. Overnight bus services, which depart from the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central, will be re-routed to operate via Pier 5 in Central from midnight to 2.30am for passengers' convenience. 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 enjoy this traditional activity and 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, and remain patient in crowded places.

     The 2010 Bun Carnival is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and is co-organised by Cheung Chau Wai Chiu County Association Limited, the Cheung Chau Rural Committee, the Islands District Office and the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union, and sponsored by Lukfook Jewellery, Watsons Water and the Islands District Council.

Ends/Wednesday, May 19, 2010


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