SINGAPORE - When Emelyn Tan participated in the 2018 DBS Marina Regatta, she enjoyed the "invigorating atmosphere" at the carnival the most, which featured food and games stalls, and workshops on healthy eating.
"It was a great place to mingle, catch up with friends and spend time with family," said the 40-year-old teacher.
This year, she can look forward to more when the regatta takes place from May 31 to June 2 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.
With the theme The Race Against Time, the eighth Marina Regatta aims to raise awareness on environmental issues and will use recycled, reusable and natural materials in its structures.
Solar panels will also be used to generate energy to power cooling fans around the venue while workshops involving topics such as urban farming will be held.
Participants can also enjoy hawker fare, such as carrot cake and braised pork rice, at The Grubhouse while being entertained by local buskers and acrobatic acts.
But what Tan is most excited about is the Race the Maze segment, which features 10 interactive eco-themed obstacles.
One of them is a string maze that gives participants an idea of what marine life in oceans polluted by plastic waste go through.
"I like the idea of fostering environmental appreciation through interactive play, using recycled materials and sustainability workshops, and reducing food waste," said Tan.
"Incorporating environmental considerations in the regatta ... will be an effective way of reaching out to participants and teaching responsibility through sustainable practices."
DBS Singapore country head Shee Tse Koon hopes that by going green, the regatta will inspire people to be more environmentally friendly by making small changes to their daily lives, such as using reusable cutlery instead of single-use plastics.
He said: "We believe that a little goes a long way. Every small effort we make today plays a big part in contributing to a sustainable world for future generations."
Organised in partnership with the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, the regatta will also feature free sailing sessions and competitive dragon boat races featuring teams from North America and Asia-Pacific, including Canada, Japan and Australia.
Ang Kip Siong, who competed last year in the Premier Mixed and Open categories, said the regatta is a good opportunity for dragon boaters to learn from one another.
"The regatta provides a good platform for us to judge our team's performance and exchange experiences with all the prestigious teams from Singapore and overseas.
"More importantly, we can make many new friends and hang out with our close friends," said the 59-year-old, who will be racing in the Premier Mixed event this year.
While DBS Asia Dragons Ladies captain Eveline Lau, 33, is gearing her team on to win the Corporate Mixed and Women's races, she hopes the event will inspire more people to take up the sport and also to think about environmental conservation.
She said: I think we can start by just making small changes to our lifestyle and habits."