For divers in Singapore, Chinese New Year ended in celebration. Reunions with long-lost dive buddies and introductions to new faces were made over 1-for-1 refreshment offers in front of top speaker presentations. Set in the Iron Curtain-inspired Berlin bar at CHIJMES Singapore, the event was packed to the gills with dive enthusiasts keen to learn more about the industry, and get their feet wet with new underwater activities (Underwater Rugby and Underwater Hockey).
The first 100 guests received welcome drinks, a complimentary copy of SD OCEAN PLANET “Inspiring Images of Iconic Locations” and a free entry to ADEX Singapore 2017. Those who signed up for the Diveaholic Membership – which gifts members incredible discounts and deals on dive gear, trips and food – had their name dropped into a hat for the lucky draw.
A total of around 200 guests were entertained by a fantastic lineup of speakers. Kicking off the early crowd, and the show, was founder of 300BAR.Asia, Kenneth Tan. Kenneth gave the crowd an insight into diving safety and pointers on how to improve their own techniques underwater. Naturally, it tied in rather well with the 300BAR mission statement, and their aim to provide customers value-for-money scuba diving equipment with a particular emphasis on safety.
Next up, award-winning photographer for marine behaviour, Julynn Khor, showcased some of her fantastic images, with unique angles on some of Southeast Asia’s more bizarre critters. The audience was wowed by Julynn’s talent for capturing beautiful compositions of minute marine animals – creatures many of us would miss on a dive.
Julynn’s presentation was followed by the first lucky draw announcement, with winners snagging UW3some vintage mugs and Diveaholic T-shirts. Next came the First Asian Team Underwater Rugby Singapore (F.A.T. UWR), with club president Joel Chan and club captain Stanley Ng representing the sport. The audience got the chance to see what exactly the underwater sport was all about, with a video demonstrating the athletic ability and skill required to compete.
Taking the energy up a notch further was Kelvin Pung, who got the crowd cheering over his macro images captured at Pulau Hantu. Kelvin, an ADEX Singapore 2017 speaker, mesmerising the crowd with his unique shots painting the local dive site in a new light.
Samuel Wong, Chief Referee of Singapore Underwater Hockey, was next up to show off sub-aqua hockey. Closely tied to the F.A.T. UWR, Samuel showed just how intense underwater hockey can be – and doubtless convinced some members of the audience that this could be the sport for them.
The final speaker and the notable Special Guest Speaker of the night, Todd Essick, presented his career’s work and behind-the-scenes videos to some of his most incredible shoots. The Chicago-raised underwater fine art photographer spoke about his pioneering images that paved the way for much of underwater fashion photography.
The final prizes were there for the taking, and before UW360 handed the night over to the live band, the lucky draw had to reach a conclusion. First up for grabs were two ADEX Singapore 2017 TekDive conference tickets. Todd Essick presented his timeless photography book, Beginnings: Goddesses, Sirens and Mermaids, which one lucky guest got to walk away with. Both Volumes 1 and 2 of Dive the Big Blue: A Historical Affair were also part of the fantastic list of prizes won.
The final prizes, and arguably the most exciting giveaways of the evening, kicked off with a Pandora diver tool kit, a useful instrument for any dive junkie hot on the sport. The next two prize winners received a stunning 3D2N full board package from Summerbay Resort, Terrenganu, Malaysia. A tropical jewel set on Malaysia’s east coast, with bridal white beaches and crystal clear seas, the resort island is perfect for both diving and relaxing.
After, a 3D2N dive and accommodation package from 7SEAS Dive Gili was won by one lucky Diveaholic. Located on Gili Air, the 7SEAS Dive Resort has grown to become one of the most popular dive resorts in the Gili Islands, the ideal getaway for Singapore based divers, and offers a range of accommodation options and dive encounters.
The final prize, a 2D1N staycation at Hotel Nuve Heritage, was presented by the Managing Director, Ben Lim. This relaxing and rejuvenating retreat, tucked away on Purvis Street, offers a stylish getaway for anyone keen to escape Singapore’s hustle and bustle.
After the completion of the lucky draw, the dive party broke into live music and the celebrations continued until late. All that remains is to eagerly await the coming of April and one of the biggest social events on the diver’s calendar – the Big Blue Divers’ Party. See you there!