Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sarawak Regatta 2008

Sarawak Regatta from Aug 1-3 By Vijaya Menon

A total of 6,259 paddlers from 321 teams have registered for this year’s event

KUCHING: The public are invited to attend the Sarawak Regatta 2008 at Kuching Waterfront here from August 1 to 3.
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will officiate at the opening at 11am on August 2 while the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin will close it at 2pm the next day.
A press conference was told yesterday that 19 race categories, four among them new categories, would be competed from 8am to 5pm for three days. The new categories are 20-paddler inter state, 20-paddler inter varsity, 20-paddler government and corporate bodies (men), and 30-paddler VIP special.
Other categories are seven-paddler (men), 10-paddler (women), 15-paddler mixed (eight men and seven women), 15-paddler (men), 20-paddler (men), 30-paddler (men) for the Head of State Trophy, 20-paddler inter division (men), 30-paddler VIP (men), 30-paddler hotels and tour agencies (25 men and five women), 20-paddler international (open), 15-paddler tourist, ‘Perahu Tambang’ (engine and rowing), kayak, jet ski open 800cc and below, and jet ski open unlimited.
The regatta advisor Datuk Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani told the press conference that six teams had so far registered for the 20-paddler inter state category - Sarawak (three teams), Terengganu (one team), Federal Territory (one team) and Kuala Lumpur (one team).
He said: “This is the first time teams from other states are participating in the regatta, and we hope that words would spread around so that we can have more participation from other states in future regattas.”
A total of 6,259 paddlers from 321 teams have registered for this year’s regatta. With the inclusion of the 30-paddler hotels and tour agencies category, Morshidi, who is also Deputy State Secretary, believed that many tourists would be keen to join the race.
Other than the races, many side events have been planned for the regatta. Among them are a grand parade, craft exhibition, science and technology exhibitions put up by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, traditional games and trade fair.
The grand parade on August 2, Morshidi said, would include 87 boats and hundreds of paddlers.
Guests from other countries would also make an appearance, including the Sultan of Brunei, ministers from Papua New Guinea, and the great grandson of Rajah Charles Brooke.
It is expected that about 10,000 visitors would line up both banks of the Sarawak River – at the Waterfront and Kampung Boyan – during the three-day event.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism Sarawak have allocated RM370,000 to run the regatta. Ten others have also come up in cash and kind to help ensure the success of the regatta.
The regatta organising committee chairperson Rodziah Morshidi and representative of the sponsors were among those present at the press conference.