Monday, June 21, 2010


LAKE KENYIR, 13 Jun 2010: Many tigers were on the loose during the 27th edition of the Kiwanis Treasure Hunt. Hiding inconspicuously at every nook and corner, they were ready to pounce and devour their prey. Many unsuspecting hunters were badly wounded with the bite marks still showing.

We too were not spared and ended the hunt with several bite marks (aka red herrings). But more on that later.

Firstly, kudos once again to the duo of Toh Wei Ming and Chen Thiam Leong (aka Mr Crack-a-Pot) for a job well done. What a memorable hunt! One that I thoroughly enjoyed. For those who missed this year's edition, I recommend that you now make plans to join the 28th edition in 2011.

To whet your appetite, here is an interesting route sampler from the hunt .......

Q10. H2O / Legendary island.
Ans: Atlantis.

.... and a very deceiving treasure (I am pretty sure the Panadol Soluble tablets had recorded a spike in sales on the day).

T4: An amusing siren's product is what I seek,
Dissolved to stun pains is what I need,
To be spooned or slowly sipped, perhaps when sick,
For your reward just be mindful to heed,
One with what is also to spread quickly to submit.
Ans: Campbell's Instant Soup Cream of Mushroom.

This year's hunt brought hunters all the way to Lake Kenyir in Terengganu, a massive 520 km or 7 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Though wisely, the CoCs decided to finish the hunt at Bandar Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, roughly 2 hours away from the final destination.

Lake Kenyir: A postcard perfect scenery.

The hunt was obviously very meticulously designed with this year's theme, Crouching Tigers Hidden Treasures, featuring prominently. 50 percent of the 30 route question were connected with either the fearsome maneater or the remorseful swinger we all know as Tiger Woods, while another 25 percent had something to do with treasures in general. And as in the previous year, the crafts were not cryptically complicated but simpler twists involving general knowledge, though no less challenging as the statistics will show.

There was a lot of positive chi circulating within our car that morning. We had fist pumps, high fives and lots of uncontrollable laughter. And this positive energy naturally translated into results. We got the treasures out of the way early in the hunt, and were largely untroubled by the route questions except for a sprinkling (or so we thought). We even solved one of two Crack-a-Pots (historically our Achilles heel), though we had to plod and plod and plod. Late in the hunt we also picked up one question we had not solved earlier, and at the buzzer tembak-ed another correctly. At the end of the 7.5 hour hunt, we unanimously agreed that this was our best Kiwanis performance ever and as opposed to previous editions we were confident that we were in the mix to net this elusive major.

While waiting for the results to be announced, mini-events were organized by the Kiwanis team to keep the hunters busy. Some gamely hunters signed up for these events while others opted to enjoy a cruise around the lake. There were also those who resigned to their rooms the entire afternoon to recharge their biological batteries. We, spent the afternoon playing cards with fellow hunters!

Jenga: Check out the offensive strategy!

Jenga: If you think Jenga is a game for the kids, think again. Meet our champ for 2010, Yeoh Ban Lye.

Jenga: The disappointment of losing to a kid.

Bingo: an entertaining family game to while the night away!

In the end it was not to be. We learnt during the Q&A, much to our chagrin, that we were duped by not one, not two but three red herrings. Our fallacy paved the way for the defending champs to successfully retain their title.

Statistics from the hunt: the data seems to indicate a very tough hunt with only 7 of 30 questions achieving greater than 50% success rate.

Though the hunt was memorable, the resort was a disappointment. Teams had paid good money. But in exchange we got air-conditioners (in our chalets) which doubled as lawn-mowers, lousy buffet throughout our stay and uninvited guests with wings who shared our meals. Hope that the organizers of future editions will look into the finer details when short-listing resorts.

27th Kiwanis Treasure Hunt
(Maximum possible score: 120)

Absent winners? Not to worry. We have willing models. Hillarious!

1st: Alexander Hoh, Andre Teh, Muhammad Razif, Darmataksiah Abai (105)
2nd: Chai Koh Khai, Margaret Sha, Adrian Wong, Chong Voon Kiat (99)
3rd: Chin Kar Ping, Jayaram Menon, Teh Boon Kai, Sam Rahman (97)
4th: Sin Yoong Loong, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (93)
5th: Tan Eng Siang, Ong Kheng Heng, Wong Sze Lynn, Diana Foong (93)
6th: Dominic Roche, Carol Roche, Catherine Ng, Lim Soo Khian (91)
7th: Leslie Kwong, Lenny Wan, Ruben Enbasegaram, Yeong Kig Siew (84)
8th: Teng Wei Chiat, Nitin, Yeoh Ban Lye, Cecilia Yew (83)
9th: Yeap Heng Boon, Pavananthan, Peh Kok Hun, Shandra Dass (77)
10th: Christopher Foo, Hafizah, Kaleon Leong, Christina Loke (72)

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