Although the morning saw some torrential thunderstorms, we breathe a sigh of relief as the sun begins to set over Marina Bay, and are rewarded for braving the rain with a picturesque view of cottony clouds and azure wisps of sky hanging overhead. This is of course, the calm before the storm, as water sports enthusiasts gear up and make final preparations before the DBS Marina Regatta kicks into full gear this weekend.
Taking place over two weekends at the Promontory @ Marina Bay, the DBS Marina Regatta is bigger, better and madder than ever before as about 80 teams from across Asia will gather to compete for cash prizes, with this year featuring the largest prize pool yet, totalling $147,000. There’s something for everyone this year, particularly with the all new Community Race category featuring over 60 youths-at-risk and youths with special needs, all of whom undertook a three-week dragon boating programme for the Youth Invitational and Adaptive Community organized by title sponsor DBS ahead of their race. As DBS celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year, the bank vows to continue its support of the sports, and will also be donating $50,000 alongside all registration fees for the Battle Bay Extreme event to charity group Thye Hua Kwan in supporting Active Aging seniors.
Says DBS Managing Director & Head, Group Strategic Marketing & Communications Karen Ngui: “This year is the biggest edition of the DBS Regatta yet, in the years that we’ve been supporting it since 2012. We aim to create more of a community atmosphere and create a more community atmosphere. By introducing the adaptive paddlers race and Community Race, featuring both at risk youths and cancer survivors, we’re making the Regatta more of an inclusive event for all, and encouraging youths to take up dragonboating at a younger age.”
In addition, homegrown Olympic medallist Joseph Schooling has also joined the cause, partnering with DBS to engage in a series of community and online activities to encourage and influence next-generation Singaporeans as they overcome challenges and chart their own paths to success at achieving their dreams. On Sunday 3rd June, Schooling, alongside local sailors Griselda Khng and Olivia Chen (both of whom recently received a six figure sponsorship from DBS to fund their training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics), will be present at the festival and will be leading a special Celebrity Challenge on the special Battle Bay Extreme. Joseph, Griselda, Olivia and former National Sprinter C. Kunalan will also be holding dialogue sessions with the public over the two weekends.
What then is the Battle Bay Extreme? Only Southeast Asia’s largest land and water obstacle course! Designed by Triple Fit Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Adrian Chai and his team, this year’s edition of the Battle Bay features three times the number of obstacles from before, and comprises three different levels, ranging from the easier ‘Initiate’ to the midrange ‘Intense’ all the way to the most difficult ‘Insane’ level. As mentioned, all registration fees for the course will go towards charity group Thye Hwa Kwan, so when you take part, you’ll be battling for a good cause.
As demonstrated by uber buff Ritual Gym master coach Muhammad Ismail, this gruelling obstacle course is not for the faint of heart, as participants swing from bars, climb up long lengths of rope and leap from platform to platform to prove their own agility and strength. Walking through the course with Ismail and Adrian, we saw the amount of difficulty, thought and technical detail that went into designing the course, and were impressed.
All registrants will receive a goodie bag with exclusive DBS Marina Regatta branded products as well as TripleFit discount passes, while those clocking the best times stand a chance to win cash prizes of up to $500. For more information on the Battle Bay, visit the website here.
In addition, partners Pure Yoga will also be present to conduct yoga classes and chill out sessions amidst the heat and high tension of the Regatta. Says Rie Watanabe, Pure Fitness Marketing Manager: “Pure Yoga has always been about innovation and technology, with plenty of programmes in place to support a holistic lifestyle, living life well and to the fullest.”
Unlike previous years, an urban beach and bar that featured prominently will not be returning. Instead, DBS has partnered up with local lifestyle farm-to-table commune Mahota to launch the DBS Creators Market, deviating from its usual, boozier pre-ULTRA music festival events and festivities to take on a more socially conscious and healthy approach to celebrating the Regatta. At the Creators Market, get ready for a communal social kitchen where visitors will be able to purchase and prepare their own superfood snacks such as granola making, and an open-area for wellness activities and a bazaar where healthy snacks and drinks can be enjoyed. Some of these snacks and drinks include acai bowls, kombucha and even kefir. Craft and wellness workshops for both adults and children will also be available for visitors to enjoy during the event.
Says founder Tan Yongshao, who runs Mahota with his wife: “I started Mahota because my father had a heart attack 10 years ago. He was into organic farming, and he told me ‘Son, sell my vegetables’ and that’s exactly what I did. Since then it’s grown and developed into a commune with a much stronger lifestyle focus than its original intent as a farm.”
He continues: “The name Mahota originates from the name of lighthouse on an island in Shanghai. For us, it represented a beacon to light the way ahead. For people to adopt these health food trends, it’s really about making it more inclusive. Even though our farm is still organic, we’re not flying the organic flag in the store or restaurant. By offering both organic and non-organic options, we can bring the price point down and make it more accessible to enter their lives.”
Finally, on the entertainment side, visitors can enjoy and support around 18 buskers showcasing their skills as they perform for you, all of whom are being supported by DBS as they each stand a chance of winning an artist development prize fully sponsored by DBS. There truly is something for everyone at the 2018 DBS Marina Regatta as the competition heats up, paddles are poised for action and the Bay is ablaze with action and activity over the next two weekends.
The DBS Marina Regatta takes place over 26th – 27th May and 2nd – 3rd June 2018 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay. For more details, visit their website here.