Monday, April 28, 2008

Adventurace 2008, 11-12 April 2008

Sky Adventure Club’s proudest event, which we sometimes refer to as our baby, has once again turned out successfully for the third year running. Adventurace 2008 saw us taking a huge step in terms of the event’s nature and much to our relief and happiness, it pulled off.

Adventurace, as most know, is Sky Adventure’s version of Amazing Race and Fear Factor, organized so that students like ourselves will have the chance to experience what we watch on these fascinating reality TV series. The event started in 2006 as a small challenge between 9 teams in SS15 and Bandar Sunway. It improved in 2007 to include checkpoints in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Where else to move but forward? So in Adventurace 2008, we took the event cross-state to cover areas in Melaka as well. Not only was there a big change in the venue, the event was also extended into a 2 day-1 night activity. To solve transportation problems, team members were also reduced from 4 people to 3.

The event started at 3.30pm at Taylor’s Business School Ground Floor with opening speeches by our VIP, Ms Angela Pok and Lai Zheng Yang (a.k.a. Pizza) the Organizing Chairperson, followed by a warm-up session. 20 teams were flagged off at about 4.00pm with RM120 in their pockets to last them throughout the race. An interesting twist to this year’s race was a guest team from Astro Jia Yu Channel 304, which consisted of 3 girls in a team called Mary-Go-Round. A cameraman trailed the team’s footsteps and we are all waiting eagerly for the screening of the TV show which will be aired in May!

The first task sent teams on a wild goose chase around SS15 in search of a key. Next, teams were required to count the amount of spectacles under the brand name Taro at Malaya Optical, SS15. After that, teams were given a picture of the A Famosa and Stadhuys, obviously famous historical sites in Melaka, and were told to proceed to the central bus station of that state. Along the way, they were given a crossword puzzle to complete. Upon arrival at Melaka Sentral, the teams had to choose between doing a rock-climbing task or a bungee-jumping-slash-flipping task at Eye of Melaka. Next, teams had to endure a painful walk in “massage clogs” at Jonker Street, much to the awe of onlookers. After that, teams could rest at the pit stop nearby for their compulsory 6-hour break.

After the break, the team’s first task of Day 2 was a refreshing walk up the scenic Bukit Cina in the wee hours of the morning. Then, they had to sell 10 packets of the famous Melaka chicken rice ball and earn a certain amount of money before proceeding to the next checkpoint which was definitely one of the toughest as we saw 3 teams quitting after being unable to complete the “anyaman” task. Teams had to resort to their patience and dexterous skill in order to complete the delicate “anyaman” which took up to 4 hours to be completed. The fastforward task was also offered at this point. If teams were able to solve a tough mathematical problem, they would be able to skip all remaining tasks and head straight to the finish line. Team Blitz definitely has the bragging right for this part of the race as they were the only ones to complete the fastforward!

After that, there was another simpler mathematical equation to be solved at Pay Fong High School, followed by our trademark Adventurace Blend. Normal, everyday food such as chilli, bittergourd, baked beans and eggs were used in this task but blended together, they were definitely not a normal concoction. Teams swallowed their way through this task and proceeded to Jonker Street where they had a more relaxing task of separating green and red beans. After that came another disgusting trademark of ours. Teams had to choose between transferring chicken organs with their mouths from one container to another, or to transfer 10 live cockroaches with their hands from one container to another at Stadhuys. Next, teams had to count the number of vertical bars on the largest bridge in Melaka and report the amount to the crews at Starbucks Coffee, Pahlawan Mall. The teams with the correct number could proceed to the next task of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of the Java Chip Frappuccino as they enjoy a Starbucks coffee themselves. Then teams had to look for a “mobile keyhole” in Melaka Sentral to pass their keys to, and then take the bus back to KL. Their final task was at Kelana Jaya Recreational Park where they had to assemble a bicycle and then send a team member to complete a memory task which tested the team’s ability to rearrange the sequence of the tasks performed throughout the whole race correctly.

The final dash to the finish line was a close competition, but Digital Chocolate emerged champion of the race when they were the first to step on the finish mat at Michelangelo’s Italian Kitchen, Sunway Pyramid where the prize-giving ceremony was held. Hookie Pookie Rangers came in second, while Anything-Lah finished third. However, due to a technical problem which occurred in one of the tasks as a result of miscommunication between the organizing committee, we would like to amend the ranking of the winners. Ipohkia is the joint champion of the race together with Digital Chocolate while -7- is the joint 1st runners up with Hookie Pookie Rangers. The organizing committee sincerely apologizes for this error and hopes that the public takes note of this amendment.

We would like to take this chance to thank our sponsors who have contributed generously in making this event successful, especially to Michelangelo’s Italian Kitchen who played a big role in our grand prize-giving ceremony. Other sponsors include Han Travel Sdn Bhd, Mudtrekker Adventure Travel, Nomad Adventure Sdn Bhd, Subang Parade, Plus Expressway, Malaya Optical, Lisa Spaghetti, Maestro Sdn Bhd, Redbull, Starbucks Coffee, Zusen, MYC, Osixnine, SJ Stationery Shop, LP Excel and Cabana CafĂ©.

Words cannot describe how elated we are with the success of this event. There were a few hiccups along the way, before, during and after the event but it all boils down to how much we have learnt and achieved at the end of the day. We hope that all participants had fun and enjoyed themselves in Adventurace as much as we enjoyed organizing it for them. We hope too that the participants can forgive us for the mistakes that we have done and any anguish that we have unintentionally caused. We look forward to seeing you with more challenges in Adventurace 2009!

Orientation Camp, 22-23 March 2008

Sky Adventure Club organized its first event since the recruitment of its new members on the 22nd-23rd March 2008. Called the SAC Orientation Camp, the trip was held in 2 caves in Perak, namely the 6th Mile Tunnel in The Lost World of Tambun and Gua Kandu. 33 members took part in the event with 1 TBS lecturer and 4 guides accompanying us.

The event kicked off at about 7.20 am when the bus picked us up from TBS. We stopped for breakfast at Tapah before reaching The Lost World of Tambun at about 11 am. We were given a brief talk on dos and don’ts before threading through cold water to gain entrance into the cave. This was a good opportunity to see what a 400 million year-old cave looks like. The cave was dark and filled calf-deep with water so everyone was pretty much thoroughly soaked throughout the whole day. We were also greeted with friendly bats coursing their way in the cave. After about an hour and a half, we exited the tunnel to have a quick lunch break and wash up. Little did we know that it was just the beginning to a gruelling cave experience.

We continued our way through a forest to arrive at another cave (the real deal). It took about an hour for all 38 of us to get through the tiny opening. Tiny certainly defined the cave’s interior perfectly. The trip involved a lot of crawling and squeezing as we made our way to the top of the cave, where we were told a beautiful sight awaits us. We had the chance to experience breathtaking views in the cave as well. The magnificent natural marble walls were definitely a sight to behold. It was such a shame that we were unable to carry our cameras in for fear of submerging them. We were told by the guides that not many have set foot let alone laid eyes in this cave, and this made us appreciate what we had experienced that day even more.

To get to the top of the cave, we had to brave 2 ‘waterfalls’ and icy cold water. This was a test of physical and mental strength as we had to endure cold water splashing down on us as we desperately look for footholds in the smooth cave walls. It was a fun experience but unfortunately we had to cut the trip short and make our way out of the cave before we could reach the peak. We had taken too much time to travel the cave and if we did not leave at that point, it would be sundown when we finally exited which could be dangerous.

There were a few missing torch lights and even an IC but the amazing sights in the cave will never leave our memories. After sneaking our showers in the Sunway City’s toilets, all 38 of us had dinner at a flabbergasted mamak shop nearby. We then made our way to Gua Kandu where we called it a night.

At about 9.00 am the next morning, we ventured deeper into Gua Kandu and experienced more glorious sights. This time, we were spared the freezing cold waters of the day before. The cave was huge and required a lot of climbing but again, the view was majestic. We also had a short stop in the cave where we told to turn off all our torch lights for a minute, just to experience how dark a cave really is and how important it is that we do not travel in a cave alone and unequipped.

After exiting the cave and trekking through a muddy forest to get back to the entrance of Gua Kandu, we cleaned ourselves and packed up. There was another exhilarating moment as we jumped with our backpacks illegal-immigrant-style from a flyover to a highway below where we waited for our bus to pick us up.

On the way back to KL, we shared our thoughts and experiences in the bus. Everyone agreed hands down that this trip was a fantastic one. Not only were we challenged both physically and mentally throughout the caving activity, we also had the chance to get to know our new members more. SAC will definitely head back to the cave one day to complete our unfinished course in the cave.