Twelve bun scramblers will try their best to win trophies at the annual Bun Scrambling Competition, the key highlight of Cheung Chau Jiao Festival, to be held at the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground, Cheung Chau, this Friday evening (May 17).
The competition attracted 220 applicants this year, 76 of whom took part in the selection contest. As a result, the nine male and three female applicants who climbed up the bun tower in the fastest time were chosen as the finalists of the competition.
In addition to the champion's trophy, first runner-up and second runner-up in the men's team event, the champion in the women's team event and the winning teams in the Bun Scrambling Invitation Relay, a new award - Full Pockets of Lucky Buns - will be introduced this year to reward the participant who grabs the most buns.
The bun tower is 14 metres tall with a diameter of 3 metres. It is covered with bamboo sticks and about 9 000 replica buns. It 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 contestants who obtain the highest total score in three minutes will be the champions. Results of male and female contenders will be ranked separately.
The Bun Scrambling Competition, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will start at midnight immediately after the opening ceremony.
The twelve finalists are Mr Cheung Man-cheung, Mr Leung Chun-kit, Mr Wong Tsz-kiu, Mr Kwok Ka-ming, Mr Yip Kin-man, Mr Chan Yu-hong, Mr Wong Chi-kit, Mr Chung Yuk-chuen and Mr Lui Ming-hong in the men's team; and Miss Wong Ka-yan, Miss Lisa Cheng Lai-sho and Miss Gigi Ho Fung-chi in the women's team.
After the individual contest, a relay competition will be staged for three teams from neighbouring regions - Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoor Sports Association, Guangzhou Fun Bun Team and Clube de Escalada Guia Macau; and five local teams from Cheung Chau - Cheung Chau San Hing Street Kai-fong Association Ltd, Cheung Chau Sai Wan Ma Sing Temple Management Association, Hong Kong and Kowloon Floating Fishermen Welfare Promotion Association, Petrel Athletic Association and Spirit Sports Association. Two members of each team will take turns to snatch specified buns at the top of the tower. The team that can get the required number of buns within the shortest time will be the champion.
The organisers urge all contestants 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 scramble up vertically and are forbidden to climb sideways or climb with the aid of others. Pulling other participants' clothing or safety gear or stepping on any parts of other participants' bodies are also forbidden.
As the finale of the Cheung Chau Jiao Festival and a well-known traditional festive event in Hong Kong, the Bun Scrambling Competition this year is also one of the events of the "Vibrant Hong Kong" theme under the city-wide campaign "Hong Kong: Our Home" launched earlier by the Government. During the competition, athletes will try their best to snatch the lucky buns on the bun tower, signifying the vitality and strength of the Hong Kong people.
The soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground will be divided into five zones on the competition night, with one zone designated for invited guests and the other four for the public. Owing to limited space, the four public zones can only accommodate about 1 650 spectators, not including the invited guests. People wishing to watch the competition at the soccer pitch should queue up for admission tickets at Pak She First Lane, next to Cheung Chau Fire Station, and along Ping Chong Road. Distribution will start from 10pm on May 17. Each person can obtain one ticket on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last. Spectators who have got their tickets should keep on queuing up to wait for instructions from the Police and staff of the organisers. Admission to the venue will start from 10.30pm.
Notices will be put up on May 17 at Pier 5 in Central to inform 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 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 18. 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. 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 about 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).
Replica buns will be distributed to spectators after the competition while some will be kept for re-use next year. Redemption coupons, one for each bun, will be issued to spectators for collection during office hours between May 27 and June 7 at Cheung Chau Sports Centre, Praya Street Sports Centre and the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central. Replica buns can also be redeemed from 9am to noon on June 1 (Saturday) at the Islands District Leisure Services Office in Central.
Members of the public who are going to watch the competition in Cheung Chau on that night are urged to follow instructions of the Police and staff of the organisers. They should be co-operative and patient in crowded places.
Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the LCSD, the 2013 Bun Carnival is presented with the support of the Cheung Chau Wai Chiu County Association Limited, the Cheung Chau Rural Committee, the Islands District Office and the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union, and sponsored by Lukfook Jewellery, AS Watsons Water and the Islands District Council.
For enquiries on the Bun Scrambling Competition, please contact the Islands District Leisure Services Office of the LCSD on 2852 3220, or visit the department's website at www.lcsd.gov.hk .
Ends/Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:01