After spearheading the DBS Marina Regatta in 2012, DBS brought it back with a bang once again this year. Held at the Waterfront Promenade at Marina Bay over two weekends, this year’s event was even bigger and better. There was a 50 percent increase in participation in the two-day international dragon-boat competition held on the 17th and 18th of May, which included teams from around the region.
Thrown in to spice up the event was the Bay Festival that happened a week after on the 24th and 25th of May. The festival gave the public opportunities to participate in water activities like paddling, canoeing, kayaking and sailing. With tons of activities catered to both the young and old, it was no surprise to see families brave the heat and come together at the registration tents to sign up for these activities. The amusement laid in the process of choosing the activities as most parents exasperatedly gave in to their children’s choices. There were age limits imposed for certain activities to ensure safety. Especially in the case for kayaking, the age limit was seven and above because it only involved two people at a time in each kayak.
“Dying!” Rena and Felix Quek exclaimed when asked how they felt about the event, much to their parents’ amusement, “(dragon-boating) was very scary because (the boat) was always shaking and it felt like we were going to die in the sea.”
Laughing, their parents interjected that they had chosen dragon-boat because it was a team sport, which was good for family bonding.
Dotting alongside the waters were booths filled with other interesting activities like archery, art and crafts, Kinect and circus acts. The children could not have been happier experiencing the circus acts.
Families who were feeling peckish could count on the different snack booths around. Selling ice-cream and benefiting well from the sweltering heat was “8 Fahrenheit”, whose beneficiaries were financially disadvantaged students.
Happening at the Bay Festival was also the invitational dragon-boat races, symbolic of an Asian culture that has stemmed from traditional times to the modern era where its popularity is undeniable with a steady increase in participation and adoption as a South East Asian Games sport.
Team from the Breast Cancer Foundation showed their support in uniform pink outfits (photo by Lee Jingyi/VOXSPORTS).
The participants at the Bay Festival recognized all that there was to this growing sport. There was a slight sense of competition in every race; even if the intended purpose was to have fun, tension could still be felt in the air as over 50 dragon-boat teams from various secondary schools and community groups gave their best shot in the races. Interesting enough was a team from the breast cancer foundation who showed their support in uniform pink outfits.
The end of the festival was marked by the electrical performances by popular local acts like Electrico, Jack and Rai, and Jessica Soo. The Bay Festival not only involved sports participation among the communities, but also provided a platform for local talents to showcase themselves. With such holistic programmes laid out for the festival this year, participants can only anticipate what would be on the menu for next year’s DBS Marina Regatta.