The DBS Marina Regatta returns for its fifth installment with big and bold new experiences on- and off-water over two weekends on 28-29 May and 4-5 June. Now more than just a dragon boating event, the Regatta will feature Southeast Asia’s tallest inflatable water slide, Singapore’s only pop-up urban beach and will bring together the nation’s up-and-coming artists, musicians, chefs and change-makers across its expansive range of activities.
Other event firsts include the introduction of themed dragon boat races and competitive kayak races as the region’s top dragon boating teams go dragon-to-dragon against the iconic Marina Bay skyline for Asia’s highest prize purse of SGD 230,000.
The DBS Marina Regatta has witnessed rising attendance numbers since its inception in 2012. Said Sim S. Lim, DBS Singapore Country Head, “As the DBS Marina Regatta grows from strength to strength, we aim to continue introducing even more spectacular experiences at the regatta so more Singaporeans can witness for themselves the endless possibilities of the Bay. We hope the activities we have in store will inspire Singaporeans to take a break from work and school and spend some quality time with their family and friends.”
Organised in partnership with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA), this year’s international dragon boat competition will see an estimated 180 teams and more than 3,000 athletes from the region gathering on the waters of Marina Bay to compete for cash prizes totalling SGD 230,000 – the highest for the sport in Asia.
Dr Chia Shi-Lu, President of the SDBA said, “It’s been immensely gratifying to see how much the dragon boating community has grown both in Singapore and the region over the years, and the support from DBS has been instrumental in this. DBS Marina Regatta hosting the SEA Games dragon boat races last year was a pivotal moment, bearing testament to the great strides DBS has made in elevating the sport locally and across the region.”
To further broaden the appeal of dragon boating to the masses, DBS Marina Regatta will for the first time, introduce three “theme race” categories:
Singapore’s Finest Paddle-off! – For current or past national athletes
Society Gladiators – For participants involved in Singapore-based Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Prime Warriors – For participants above 45 years old
On 3 June 2016, the regatta will host a kayaking competition for the first time. Held in partnership with the Singapore Canoe Federation, the new kayak fiesta will be open to anyone from kids to competitive paddlers to the physically challenged.
Event goers will also get to try out kayaking or sailing in the Bay during the two weekends with DBS’ 18-metre tall Swedish Match 40 sailboats – the first of its kind in Asia. The sailboats were brought in last year as part of the DBS Marina Bay Sailing Programme, which has been offering the public complimentary sailing sessions in the Bay since 2013.
This year, the Bay will once again be transformed into Singapore’s one and only popup urban beach. The beach will come with a packed programme of non-stop activities for families and urbanites alike, from day till night. In the day, the beach pool will hold stand-up paddling and stand-up yoga sessions for board sport enthusiasts, as well as kayaking and zorbing activities for kids.
Near the beach, event goers can also get in some adrenaline-pumping fun while contributing to a good cause by tackling Southeast Asia’s tallest-ever inflatable slide – a spectacular 16m, four-storey tall callback to the Big Splash. With unlimited rides available for a single entry fee, all proceeds raised will go to SPD, an organisation that helps people with disabilities develop their potential to the fullest so that they can be self-reliant and independent.
The regatta will also bring together a collective of homegrown talent. Situated along the beach, the regatta’s artisan market will offer unique, handmade pieces by Singaporean artists and craftspeople. The stores will be housed in refitted shipping containers that double as viewing decks by night. Over at the food village, young local chefs will serve up innovative fusion meals, with dishes such as salted egg yolk fries and chilli crab ‘man tous’.
In the evenings, the viewing decks will make for a breezy al-fresco setting for the regatta’s sunset beach concerts. Featuring a lineup of Singapore’s up-and-coming musicians, the regatta will provide the perfect spot for unwinding with friends and families.
Championing social enterprises and encouraging social-consciousness Back by popular demand is “Paddle for Good”, which simulates a dragon boat race, but on land, with the use of indoor ergometer machines. This year, “Paddle for Good” will invite people to attempt the ergometers while challenging the use of their physical abilities so they can experience first-hand what athletes with disability face.
For those who successfully complete the challenge, DBS will make a donation to a VWO that supports persons with disabilities. Last year, the initiative raised more than SGD 150,000 for its beneficiaries.
As part of DBS’ continued efforts to champion the development of the social entrepreneurship sector to build a socially-conscious society, a selection of social enterprises under “Asia for Good” by DBS Foundation will feature in the artisan market and food village.
“Asia for Good” (www.asiaforgood.com) is a first-of-its-kind lifestyle portal that raises the profile of social enterprises in the region with the belief that consumers have the power to create positive change.
The DBS Marina Regatta is part of the bank’s continuing efforts to engage the community and to share the vibrancy and dynamism of Singapore’s new financial downtown with the general public. Since 2013, DBS has committed SGD 22 million to enliven the Marina Bay area (including an additional SGD 12 million over the next three years).
From the introduction of the regatta in 2012, DBS/POSB initiatives such as the DBS Marina Bay Sailing Programme, POSB PAssion Run for Kids, and its other complimentary cycling and yoga activities have attracted more than 60,000 people to the bay, transforming Marina Bay into a bustling hub of activity.