Friday, January 27, 2006

The 2006 Borneo International Yachting Challenge - Labuan to Miri

By George Francis

MIRI - The Borneo International Yachting Challenge (BIYC) - from Labuan to Miri, will be held from April 27 to May 1, 2006.

This will be the third year that this event is held to put it on the world yachting map held for Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

The organisers, meanwhile, would like to invite Brunei to join as venue host-participant in this South China Sea event, bringing in renowned international yachters and water event tourists.

Sarawak Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications, Lee Kim Shin, who chaired the joint-committee meeting here, hoped to bring a delegation to meet with the Brunei authority for discussion on this proposal to invite the Sultanate in this new sporting development.

He said the Labuan-Miri challenge has been in the international yachting map whereby Brunei should not be left out.

"Hopefully, by the second week of February we can make a courtesy call on our neighbours - the local yachting fraternity and relevant authority there to bring up our proposal for discussion," said Lee, who is also a member of the Sarawak Tourism Board.

Meanwhile, Sarawak organising co-chairman, Troy Yaw, said the event had been organised twice consecutively, adding, "Nobody doubts our ability to organise this international event which had been well publicised, and now it's getting momentum both regionally and internationally."

As of today, 11 boats from from Hong Kong, Holland, Phuket, Miri-Sarawak, Royal Malaysian Navy have confirmed participation while a number of Langkawi-based yachters are expected to join in the event along with three boats from Brunei.

The six-day event will start in Labuan on April 27, followed by a regatta which Labuan also plays host to the closing ceremony of "Pesta Air Nasional". The boats will be back on track to Miri waters by April 29 straight to the newly built Balinese-designed Miri Marina Boat Club, followed by the Miri Race the next day and ending with the Miri Bay Regatta on May 1.

However, if Brunei accepts the invitation as a joint venue-participant, the boats will be on track for the first night stop-celebration in Bandar Seri Begawan from Labuan before heading for Miri the next day.

The last two events were inaugurated in 2004, called Borneo Cup Yachting Challenge before being renamed now as the Borneo International Yachting Challenge to make it a more lucrative event in this part of the world.

The BIYC is a Category 3 event, featuring five classes of boats, namely racing, cruising, sports, classic and ocean multi-hull.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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