The SAFRA AVventuraTM is an adventure race organised by SAFRA Yishun Country Club (SYCC). The event made its debut in 2006 with the AIA SAFRA AVventura – The Northern Adventure Race which attracted 270 avid racers who had to navigate through virgin undergrowth, brave a 100m river swim, abseil, bike, run and kayak more than 40km in the Northern part of Singapore. It is now in its fifth edition.
SAFRA AVVENTURE 2011
In the early morning on 23rd January 2011, some 300 participants took part in the fifth edition of SAFRA AVVENTURA when most are still sound asleep in the comfort of their cozy bedroom. The event made its debut in 2006 and it is currently in its fifth installment. The event is organized by SAFRA Yishun Country Club to re-enforce its position as “A Place for Adventure”. Each year, some aspect of the race will be tweaked to keep an element of surprise and to make it interesting. The race is never the same.
For 2011, in additional to the competitive Ultra and Sprint categories, a new Dads for Life category was added to promote bonding between family bonding through adventure. A total of 155 teams, with 310 participants, signed up for the race.
The adventure begins
Participants of the three categories went through various obstacles and distance to complete the race. In the Ultra category, participants had to race through a grueling 43km with countless obstacles designed to stop them in their path. The race started off with a run followed by paddling a rubber tube for 400m in Punggol Reservoir. Even before the teams can catch their breath, they are off for team biathlon and having to clear various Mystery Challenges along the way. Subsequently, the teams have to bike, kayak and swim before they are met with the last challenge, which is to abseil diagonally across the SAFRA Yishun swimming pool from a height of 25m.
The Sprint category did a condense version of the Ultra route, but it was in no way a walkover. Racers would still have pit their guts and endurance across a 28km route that is just as challenging.
For the Dads for Life category, instead of challenging participants’ endurance, the race objective was set to encourage bond building and teamwork between father and child. Each team will have to go through a 6km long circuit comprising some running and biking with lots of quiz and challenges. Some of the challenges put fore included air pistol shooting, canopy walk and even abseiling. It was guaranteed to provide a fun filled experience for the kid.
After some gruesome 4 hours of hard work, the first of the winning teams crossed the Finishing line. Adventure In Motion teams bagged the top placing in both the Men’s Open and Mixed Open categories. They are no strangers to this race, having participated in every single one of them since its debut.
Men’s Open team member Alvin commented, “We have been participating in the SAFRA AVventura since it was introduced. The diagonal abseiling was fun and I enjoyed it. The most difficult segment of the race this year was the series of water challenges. The kayaking and tubing challenges were really tough.” Alvin’s team mate, Yeo Kim Hong added, “What made the race more difficult was that these two challenges were at the start of the race so it made us really tired. But the race was well organised and it went much smoother for us as compared to previous years.”
In the Dads for Lift category, father and son pair, Peter Yap, 47 and Daniel Yap, 13, emerged as winners. Both share avid interest in sports and outdoor activities, but this was the first time they are competing together. Peter Yap commented, “I had initially signed up for another race, but decided to join the Dads for Life Challenge with my son as I wanted to bond with him through adventure. Our main aim was to complete the race and have as much fun as possible while enjoying each other’s company, instead of competing with the other teams. It was quite a pleasant surprise when I heard that we won.”
The participants have immensely enjoyed their time during the race. While it was hard work all the way, most worn a satisfaction smile after completing the event. Most participants have sworn to be back the following year, for more fun!