Famous faces take to the water in bathtubs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 5:33am

Artists, businessmen, lawmakers and tourist industry bosses made up some of the well-known faces in a "celebrity bathtub race" yesterday in Victoria Harbour to wrap up the weekend's Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival.

The race - in which pairs of paddlers teamed up to row themselves in a bathtub across 100 metres - featured 14 teams, with the proceedings divided into two rounds. It took place in the waters just off the East Tsim Sha Tsui promenade.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Ben Chan Han-pan dressed up as the character Pi Patel from the movie Life of Pi.

"Paddling in a bathtub matches with the theme 'seeking survival' in the movie so we chose to dress up like this," said Chan, whose team won the event's best costume award. His teammate, Tsuen Wan district councillor Wong Wai-kit, dressed up as the tiger in the movie.

"The tip for the championship is to maintain balance to avoid sinking," said Democratic Party lawmaker Sin Chung-kai. His team, which included Lau Kin, an athlete from the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association, eventually won the race. Sin said they had practised once beforehand and their bathtub had sunk.

The InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong team were first runners-up, followed by the Ngong Ping 360 team.

Other teams included one from Ocean Park led by chairman Allan Zeman, one from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort led by managing director Andrew Kam Min-ho, and a team featuring singer Wilfred Lau Ho-lung and artist Ken Wong Hap-hei.

During the three-day event, more than 5,000 entrants from 199 teams - 163 local and 36 overseas - joined the boat races.

Organised by the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association and co-organised by the Tourism Board, the carnival attracted about 120,000 visitors despite unsettled weather caused by tropical storm Bebinca.