Monday, September 18, 2006

Perhentian Island Challenge 06

Just got back from Perhentian at about 1am this morning. Spent a total of 1 day in the bus for the journey to and fro.

Anyway, it felt funny, to be going somewhere and not racing. And so, on Thursday night, marshalls and some participants converged at Dataran Merdeka for a trip up to Terengganu, to be more specific, Perhentian Island.

With us were some officials from Bubu Resort, Tiny Tim,DJ from Red.FM (which ain't so tiny, really), TV3's Scoreboard's crew and members of the press/media reps.

There were also the night treasure hunt, which will take participants from Dataran all the way to Perhentian. That explained our ultra slow journey to Perhentian. IN total, we spent like 12 hours in the bus. OK, credit to Mahligai as well, for bringing their newest bus (BAS 3333), which is actually the double decker MAN bus. Oh ya, not forgetting, the Mahligai staff were really engrossed in taking pictures of their bus!!! Weird!!!!

Anyway, to cut the long story(and journey) short...we reached Besut in one piece. Though feeling rahter blurry from the long trip.

The transfer to the island was prompt and soon enough, by 11.00am, we were on the beach of Perhentian.

The place has since change from my last visit in 2003. Also there for Perhentian Island Challenge, infact, the first installment of the race! click here and here and hereandhere for report (wah lau...damn long winded me man!) Apologies for the non existence pictures which has since lost in cyber space as i was *squatting* on someone's server back then. Now that i found lifelogger...things has been so much sweeter!

Anyway, back to the report.

We attended the opening ceremony at Perhentian Besar. Visitor will get to see views such as these under the jetty.

those are fish, fyi

There were stalls set up to showcase the diversity of the Terengganu local food. I could only say it's yummy. and having an empty stomach helps!!!

Kepiah Lembik...

which is actually pancake in sweet coconut gravy...think pengat pisang...and no, it's not Kurma!!!

Ubi Goreng, Malaysian answer to French Fries.

Buah Guling....

Which is actually dough ball with ....(nola...don't want the makcik to wash too many plates, so i recycled) inside...YUMMY!!!

Belebab Ubi...

which looks like...err...barnacles???

There were a few more items served. With names such as Puteri Mandi (which later some of us came out with some conslusion on what was the banana representing)..and rojak betik, which was uber sour.

Steph and Saiful joining in the food frenzy

Lunch was then served and the locals joined in the fun and food were being taken and eaten at all corners of Perhentian (ok, maybe just that village).

As we moved back to the Jetty to get to Perhentian Kecil, a small boat came up and unloaded tonnes of daily nessasity onto the jetty. Each with names on it. This must be their moving hypermarket...

I respect the locals for being able to live such a simple life. We in KL/PJ would never learn to appreciate things we have around us and just complain. Just look at how simple they are!

Where's Mamypoko???

We head on to Perhentian Kecil soon after and was sent to our tents behind Bubu Resort. I initially supposed to share a tent with Songx and Ladysoul, but 3's a company and it won't be comfy. So, thanks to Wye Yim to allowing me to bunk in with her!!! :)

Thanks Wye Yim! (by the way, do i look like Hannah Tan???

Some say we got the same eyes...

All marshalls were called to the beach soon after we landed on the island. Everyone went to their respective checkpoint to be sent out for final recce before the race.

This is where all the magic of any races starts!

This is officially my first time i ever marshalled a race.

Thanks to ladysoul for allowing me to snap pic of her beautiful hat!!!

And so, we were bundled up into the small boat and brought to D'Lagoon beach, where CP2 will be.

From CP2, it's a short jungle trail about 1km long to CP3. Passing very distinct trail, anyone that get lost here despite the adequate marking ought to be thrown to the sea for the turtle to eat.

CP3 is actually Adam's and Eve's beach. Why is it called it that way? go figure, this place is deserted and strewn with dead corals washed up on the beach.

Marking where CP3 will be, we turned right and headed for the coast. This is where all the stones and rocks beaten by the weahter and sea water and even wind sat.

It was a daunting task to be setting up courses. Not only we had to be on alert for changes in terrain/rocks formation, hauling 10 plastic cones which weight almost a tonne after 30 minutes seems dangerous. But Nomad's river guide Hafizi and Arman did a very good job while i handles about 10 broomsticks.

After about 40minutes of walking, jumping, bouldering to CP4, we reached the supposedly swim out. Geographically, we are now at the tip of Perhentian Kecil, aptly also know as The Shark Tip.

Turtle Bay is left turn at CP3, or start of coastering, the bay before the top protrusion is where CP4 swim out is...

And so, Pip, me, Arman and Hafizi checked for safety issues with regards to racer jumping off the stones and straight into the water. As it was low tide, everything seems to be sticking out from the water. Pip reckon that the swim should be relocated to anohter pace, about 100meters away, which was safer. However, the threat of the racers being pushed back against the stones and barnacles seems to be our concern.

Even as i slowly descent into the water, i had cuts on my knees, thighs and fingers...

We swam to the boat that was waiting for us to CP4 swim in.

Racers has to swim past the top tip of the island and head into the second bay. This is where paperwork of taking their time and also passport would be done.

From there, they had to coaster upwards towards CP5, which was where the technical rope section would be.

Having done all that, we headed back to Bubu for dinner and final briefing by Race Director.

The next day at 11am, all marshalls were sent out to their respective CP. With me was LadySoul, Lee Ming (a regular marshall), Hui Ling (an ex-state swimmer) and Hafizi (Nomad's river guide). So, i was supposed to bring both Lee Ming and LadySoul to CP4 swim in and at the same time, replace CP3 with clearly marked tapes and markers. As CP2 to CP3 distance are too short, it make no sense to have more marshalls there to irritate the racers.

So, i brought both LadySoul and Lee Ming to coaster with me. The tide was still high and the water were really rough. The waves crashes against the rocks and i was told by Boss(that's Yuen) and Pip that i should take a swim to CP4 swim in, instead of me being brought there by Pip in the boat. That's great.

Well, just great.

The day before, as they were setting up the CP5's Tyrolean's Traverse, Tammy and Arman saw a 4 foot long Black Tip Shark...

And so, after bidding goodbye to both Lee Ming and LadySoul, i swam out. The current was strong that i was initially pushed back against the rock and i quickly swam out with the current. I had my goggles with me and lo and behold...what's beneath me was really beautiful! This spot is unspoiled still! There was live corals and not those brown murky dead ones. There were assortments of fishes, mostly parrotfish and some others i couldn't name.

I did notice a few black tip pup...about 1foot long at most.

I took my time to swim to CP4 swim in and i couldn't help but enjoy the scenery in the water...

Well, that was when i saw something huge, about 4 foot long...and i secretly hope it's the resident garoupa

Garoupa are food, could grow to more than 4 feet long

With sharks, Stupe IS food, to be specific, a 5foot 8inch food.

And so, trying to tell myself that that isn't a shark, i swam faster...i do not want to be in the way of Dino and Eugene when they come swimming in!!!

I reached CP4 safely, with both my legs and arms intact. Hafizi and Hui Ling just reach the swim in. Thank goodness i don't need to be rescued by an ex-state swimmer...hahahaha...

I hauled myself out and proceed to set up the CP4.

racer will come in from left...

and run to the right towards CP5

With, we looked gay!!!

With Hui Ling...asked her to hide from sun!!!

Soon after, team 060 reacheed CP4. It's Dino and Eugene. They completed the kayaking from Long Beach to D'Lagoon and coaster and swam to CP4 in less than 22 minutes!!!

Then, a barage of local boys and other racers came in. We had a hard time signing them off, Hafizi stayed at the edge of the water with a throw back incase some swimmer get pulled away by the strong current.

It was then i saw Ming and Dirk. Salute to Ming for being able to keep her hat dry in the swim!!! Also found out Dirk went against doctor's order and swam after getting his eyes lasered. They were the ONLY rep from Light And Easy gang (and no, we are not affliated to that radio station)

View of CP4...

I was supposed to call/sms CP5 soon after the first team arrive, but CP4 has no network coverage and hence, i'm sure CP5 would had been surprised by the sudden arrival of to Danielle...SORRY!

The last team came in about 1hour 22 minutes later and it's time for us to verify that all 9 women team, 16 mix team and 34 mens team are accounted for and not eaten by any garoupa or sharks.

From there, i asked Hafizi if he could swim back to the other side to assist LadySoul and Lee Ming to clear the cones, sticks and marker. I would track forward with Hui Ling towards CP5 and clear the cones along the way...

NO, i wasn't scared of the sharks...don't be silly!

Pip, Steven Medic and Horin Medic checking if everything is a-ok

It was tiring to track to CP5 with about 12 cones with me that i picked up along the way. They are heavy and a chore to carry, especially when you have to climb up some boulders. Plus one big plastic bag which we used to collect rubbish left by the racers along the way....Hui Ling has an important task to ensure that the timing sheet stays dry and, i had to do the rest. She did offer to help, but the sight of Boss coming after me and racers accuse me of lost of evidence of their timing...i chosed to let Hui Ling has the bigger responsibility.

After a short 20minutes hike, we reached CP5.

Great view!!!

even greater view!!! far left where the rocks protrude out is CP4 ...

...and right after the funny shaped stone is CP5...

rock that will be submerged when the tides comes in, pic taken from the same spot as the two pics above!

And this is how it looked like, from racer's point of view...

I was told that racers that do not want to wait at this traverse, or too chicken to do this traverse will only need to take a 5 minutes penalty per team ahead of you and JUMP into the water below and swim across...there were 10 teams that took this options! Obviously thinking that it's more adventurous to do so! How high was it? well, racers opting to jump need to get themselves to about 2 storey high building height and jump. :) Then, they need to climb up from the other side to move to CP6, which was where Songx was.

Francis, Christine and Danielle at CP5 to help with the gears...

Francis and Christine posing...

...while Hui Ling decided to make a jump into the water below. Pic taken from where the racer jumped!!!!

Saiful...the ever cool tech guy in most races i entered

Soon after that, we packed up both CP and headed back to Bubu Long Beach.

By the time we reached Bubu, Eugene and Dino has already completed the race in 2hours 57 minutes and Liz and Razani did theirs in 3hours 5 minutes. Damn fast wei, as after CP6, they will swim back to CP7, which was essentially CP2, then kayak to Perhentian Besar for CP8, which will make them snorkel to CP9 and does jungle trail running to CP10 before heading back to CP11 by kayak to Perhentian Kecil and run to the finish at Bubu.

All that happen in less than 3 hours for the champ! Well Done!

Race map and the race i never raced

The Champs

The marshalls

The Alky Anon Marshalls

The LnE-ers

The Sugar Taukey - as said by Dino

The Malaysian Flag to commemorate Hari Malaysia

The Visit Malaysia Year 2007 Sticker...

And the watch i lost at Perhentian...

Now have to set up anohter fund to buy me a watch...

For more pictures, please do click here: My LifeLogger's Album

Edited 21st Sept 2006: For more report: LadySoul's encounter

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