It was a first for both of them non-car enthusiasts, so it was only natural that I was the driver for the team. Using my humble Mitsubishi Lancer CS3, we reported at 5pm at Beaulieu House, Sembawang Park.
There were 36 teams altogether, mostly families and also couples or trios of friends. We were given a Garmin-Asus A50 navigation smartphone to aid us with the directions.
The phones were brand new from their boxes, batteries yet to be charged. We were given a suction holder for the phone to be attached to the windscreen and then powered it using the cigarette lighter.
It was a short rally with just four stops, but because it was a rainy Saturday evening, traffic wasn't in its best of moods and visibility is reduced.
Handed our rule book at the flag-off, the first clue led us to Seletar Airport. It was an outdoor eatery called Sunset Grill located somewhere in Seletar West Camp.
A lot of road works and construction was going on within Seletar, so the directions given by the phone weren't accurate. I think it will be the same with all other navigation devices though, how updated can the maps get? To the extent of road works? (Let me know if you know of one like that though.)
Dennis and Adrian took on the first task at Sunset Grill, which was to gobble one chicken wing each in the fastest time possible. Thank goodness I didn't do it; the chicken wings were spicy!
While they were burning their throats with the chicken wings, I hunted around for answers to the treasure hunt questions but I couldn't find what the red pole means and the type of zone.
After that it was on to Woodlands Industrial Avenue where Prospeed is. Prospeed is a workshop that does scratch removal. Again, Dennis and Adrian performed the task of using this 3M Scratch Remover to eliminate some scratches and fine lines on one of my car door handles.
From there we made our way to Kranji reservoir park car park A for the next station. The thing is, we couldn't find the directions for this with the Garmin-Asus A50. We tried using points of interest and postal code but it couldn't be found. Then halfway through there was no network reception, so we had to rely on Google map on our Blackberry and iPhone.
At Kranji, we stayed in the car and this time I accomplished the task because we were supposed to drive over five paper plates in a row with the front left tyre of the car. Phew, I contributed 250 points with this!
The last station was at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park where two team members had to sit in the front seats and change seats in the shortest time. Adrian and I did this - me in the driver's seat and he in the front passenger seat. Seatbelts on, hands on the dashboard, we changed seats without getting out of the car! I think there were some teams who got out of the car and ran across. I often move within the cabin without needing to get out of the car so this was easy for me!
There was a little quiz where we had to use the Garmin-Asus A50 and track the nearest petrol station with it in the fastest time. Dennis was the one we entrusted the responsibility of the phone to, but he wasn't all that familiar with it yet. After scrolling up and down he finally found the FUEL button under Quick Searches and a whole list of petrol stations popped up, ranked according to proximity.
This was the last game station, but there was one more bonus station we could go to for more points. We had to make our way to the Sembawang God of Wealth temple and take a photo using the A50 to prove that we were there. It's located at 28 Admiralty Street, which was on our way back to Sembawang Park (ending point) anyway.
Eventually, we were the second team to arrive back at Beaulieu House, but this game is not based on speed. As long as you arrive before the cut-off time, you will not be penalised. However, neither will you be rewarded for being early! The key to winning was in scoring the most points possible with the tasks given.
I was having a headache from using the Google Map on my BB and trying to get the A50 to work. The A50 is useful for motorists as it combines the functions of a mobile phone and a satnav into one. But it takes time to calculate the directions and in a game, that is crucial as you want to move off quickly after each stop. In daily life though, you'll take some time to plan your journey before moving off so the A50 should serve you fine.
Dennis was having a headache too, as he cannot read in a moving vehicle. Adrian and him were handling the rule book as well as working the A50 for directions while I drove.
We were done pretty early, way before the cut-off time. Dinner wasn't ready and we had to wait till all the teams are back before they could calculate the results. We were hoping to come in within the top three, but at the end of the night we found out we didn't. :(
I wonder where we went wrong! Other than the red pole and type of zone questions, I thought the rest of the treasure hunt questions were pretty straightforward. Nonetheless, it was good meeting Adrian again and we will team up for more activities in future!
As for car rallies, I will think twice before taking part in one again. It does drain a lot of brain juice and energy from you! It's advisable to have an iPad as well as a satnav (even if one is provided) if the regulations of the competition allow them.
Choose team members wisely too, best if the skills of each member can complement one another. First prize for this rally was $1000 worth of Tangs vouchers, the A50 phone each and other packages. I could have done with the Tang vouchers for X'mas shopping!
Happy birthday One Motoring and congratulations for serving our motorists for a decade already, here's to many more years ahead! Cheers!