Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rotary Club of Kinabalu Sutera Treasure Hunt 2012

The Rotary Club of Kinabalu Sutera Treasure Hunt 2012 was on last Sunday, 29th April. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first one ever organised by Rotary Club in KK. 29 teams ranging from beginners to regular hunters took part. The Clerk-of-Course for the hunt was Team Kena Tembak.

I had in my team, Claire as the driver, Vivian who recorded the answers, and Christy and myself as the tourists in the back seat. But although it's the first time we hunted together as a team, I still retained my original team name, Megapawns.

Unlike in the past, somehow I wasn't overly excited for this hunt—I don't know why. I slept like a baby the night before; whereas usually the night before any hunt in the past, I would be having trouble sleeping because of the excitement. Well, we assembled at Le Meridien Hotel in Sinsuran, which was the hunt venue, and had sang nyuk mien for breakfast, and was in good time for the final briefing at about 7:45am. We were then duly flagged off at 8am.

The hunt consisted of 40 route questions and 4 treasure questions; and time control was 5 hours plus 30 minutes penalty time. We were pleasantly surprised to note that the questions during the earlier part of the hunt were mainly easy ones—in fact, I'd say mostly give-away type. We swept through the Star City sectors fairly quickly, and soon found ourselves heading for the Sadong sector of which we stumbled upon a though question. I think we must have made several turns, perhaps spending up to 20 minutes or so just for one question. But in the end, we gave up after copying several possible answers. We told ourselves that if we had extra time at the end of the hunt, we would come back to this sector again to make another attempt. Here is that tough question:



The kind of riddle, which many of my West Malaysian (treasure hunter) readers would know by now, that I'm not a big fan of. But I will discuss further later in another post.

We were ahead of the other teams for the most part of the hunt, except that we were held up for quite a long time in Putatan area where we got stuck with this question:



A fairly short sector with comparatively few signboards. Yet, although I used to be a competitive chess player more than 10 years ago, I suffered the tragic blind spot syndrome during the hunt, and therefore failed to see the essence of the riddle for what it's worth. Seeing the clue now, I think it's a brilliant riddle from the CoC, and I'm happy that I had a chance to attempt it—though unfortunately, I failed to solve it.

We were ahead, I think, by at least 70-80 minutes when we finished answering all the questions (except for the one in the Sadong sector) when we arrived at the CKS Supermarket in Millennium Plaza. We had cracked the treasure clue for a pack of biscuits and we found it there. But the queue was so long, and I'd reckoned that it'd probably take us up to 20 minutes before we could clear the cashier. So because of trying to be smart, I told my team mates, we might as well buy the treasure elsewhere, since we had so much time anyway. Bad move!

It turned out that that treasure was extremely difficult to find. I think we must have stopped by at least 10 other places, ranging from convenient stores, petrol stations, supermarkets—zilch! After spending perhaps 45 minutes touring Lintas area up to Luyang, and making a big circle all the way to Jalan Bundusan, it dawned on me that the safest bet was to make the long pilgrimage back all the way to CKS Millennium Plaza. And of course by then every single car on the road was driving at snail's pace. I think I could feel my blood boiling, but I kept my cool. Claire did her part very well as the driver—she drove like it's a matter of life and death, hitting several road curbs along the way, tyres screeching and all. But when we entered Jalan Nosoob, it was obvious that we would incur the time penalty. The only thing we could do was to prevent from losing too many points on penalty.

Well, we finally found our way back to CKS Supermarket again, and bought that forsaken pack of biscuit, and as Claire was tearing down the road heading for KK, I kept looking at my watch like never before. Many roundabouts and traffic lights later, we arrived at the final stretch from Wawasan Plaza towards Le Meridien Hotel. And to our horror, the road was packed with cars bumper-to-bumper. I looked at my watch; we were already 2 minutes late. Claire went in between the road divider, jumping the long, long queue. But she could only go as far as the tiny roundabout next to Warisan Complex. The day before that I had my 30km long run, and my legs were still sore. So Christy had to get down and run that final 200 metres or so to Le Meridien Hotel.

It was a horrible mistake not to buy the biscuits the first time we had the chance to do so. A very costly mistake. Otherwise, we could have won the hunt. I knew that I would kick myself for a long time to come; it was just too silly; what a way to lose the hunt!

Just imagine my surprise when in the end we won the hunt anyway with quite a comfortable margin of 5 points. The score did not do justice to the kind of stress we—or rather, maybe I should say I— suffered during the hunt.

I think Team Kena Tembak did a very good job in setting a very balanced hunt in terms of difficulty. The questions satisfied the appetite of beginners and regular hunters alike. I hope for, and look forward, to a second Rotary Treasure Hunt next year.

Results (Full score 100pts):

1. Claire Andrew, Vivian Cham, Cornelius Koh, Christy Kong (87)
2. Frederick Samson, Teo Chen Lung, Leslie Yew, Dalglish Eugene (82)
3. George Ligunjang, Emmanuel Kissey, Richard Tsen, Liaw Lam Thye (80)
4. Harry William Koh, Buddy Jiliun, Sophia Lai (78)
5. Francis Omamalin, Eileen Yeoh, Lee Tze Jim, Rebecca Liew (74)
6. Ellen Yee, Liaw Yun Haw, Shirley Lim, Mary Lokupi (65)
7. Dominic Lansing, Gregory George, Claire Fabian, Dinah J Molijoh (64)
8. Insan Muslimin, Daisy Mark, Stella Moluntang, Felix Joikon (62)
9. Koh Len Yan, Wendy Voo, Erna Chan (55)
10. Edgar Pong, Richard Gontusan, Gopi Muniandy, Kaori Kawamoto (54)

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