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Bun scramblers to vie for championships this Tuesday night

     The annual Bun Scrambling Competition will be held this Tuesday (May 10) on the soccer pitch, Pak Tai Temple Playground, Cheung Chau, with the opening ceremony at 11.30pm and the start of the competition at midnight. Members of the public will have the chance to witness the stunning bun tower climbing skills exhibited by the contestants in a fiercely competitive atmosphere.

     The Bun Scrambling Competition is the finale of the 2011 Bun Carnival. This year's competition has attracted 199 applications, of which 158 have received climbing and safety training provided by the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union. Among them, 86 took part in the selection contest on the afternoon of April 30. Nine male and three female participants who climbed the bun tower frame in the shortest time made it to the Bun Scrambling Competition.

     As last year, male and female contestants will be ranked separately and the winners will be awarded following the final contest. Three places have been reserved for shortlisted female participants.

     The twelve finalists are Mr Zenon Chan Ka-shing, Mr Chung Yuk-chuen, Mr Yip Kin-man, Mr Yip Ting-wai, Mr Yau Ka-chun, Mr Cheung Man-cheung, Mr Leung Chun-kit, Mr Yeung Man-hung, Mr Chong Yiu-lung, Miss Wong Ka-yan, Miss Cheng Lai-sho and Miss Chan Ka-yi.

     The fourteen-metre-tall bun tower has a diameter of three metres. It is covered with bamboo sticks and 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 for identification. The contestant who obtains the highest total score from the three-minute bun grab will be the champion.

     The individual contest will be followed by a relay competition. Three teams from Macao and Shenzhen - Clube de Escalada Guia Macao, Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoor Sport Association's Team and SMOA Xiantong Climber Team have been invited to take part in the relay. They will compete against the five teams from Cheung Chau - The Petrel Athletic Association, Spirit Sports Association, Wing Kai Far Pau Association Limited, Cheung Chau Tung Tai San Chuen Residents Fraternity Association, and Cheung Chau Hoi Luk Fung Culture and Recreation Association. Two members of each team will take turns to grab specified buns at the top of the tower. The team that can get the specified buns within the shortest time will be the champion.

     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, as well as the champion of the women's team.

     All participants have to follow the rules of the competition. They are not allowed to carry any hard objects or any objects that can be used as 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 any parts of other participants' bodies.

     The soccer pitch at Pak Tai Temple Playground will be divided into five zones, with one designated for invited guests and the other four for the public. Owing to limited space, the four zones for the public can only take up to 1 650 spectators in total, excluding the invited guests. People wishing to watch the competition at the soccer pitch can queue up at Pak She First Lane, next to Cheung Chau Fire Station, and along Ping Chong Road to obtain admission tickets, which will be distributed from 10pm on May 10. Each person can obtain one ticket on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last. Spectators who have got their tickets should carry on queueing to wait for instructions from the Police and organisational staff. Admission to the venue will start from 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 16 to 25 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 21 (Saturday) at the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central.

     Notices will be put up from 6pm on May 10 at Pier 5 in Central informing the public of the schedule and arrangements for the event. Notices and enquiry counters will also be set up at Cheung Chau Ferry Pier and the entrance of the Pak Tai Temple Playground, where staff will be on hand to address public enquiries.

     First Ferry will arrange an additional ferry trip from Cheung Chau to Central at 1.15am on May 11. The bus company will operate a special cross-harbour bus route 104R, running from Pier 5 in Central to Mong Kok from about 1.10am to 2.30am that night. Overnight bus services departing from the Hong Kong-Macao 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 are urged to follow instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers and to be co-operative and patient in crowded places while going to Cheung Chau to enjoy this traditional festive activity.
     The 2011 Bun Carnival is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department between April 23 and May 11, with the support of the Cheung Chau Wai Chiu County Association Limited, the Cheung Chau Rural Committee, the Islands District Office and the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union, and is sponsored by Lukfook Jewellery, Watsons Water and the Islands District Council. A wide array of activities, including the Bun Scrambling Competition, play-ins during the climbing carnival and invitation relays, are staged during the period.

Ends/Sunday, May 8, 2011


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