Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sarawak Regatta - A Brooke down on the river

KUCHING: His great grandfather's uncle started it 136 years ago in 1872.

Now he is here to see what the longest-running regatta in the country is all about.

Jason Brooke, the 23-year-old great grandson of Sarawak's second white rajah, Charles Brooke who ruled from 1868 to 1917, has been invited as a special guest to this year's three-day regatta beginning on Friday.

Other state guests include the Sultan of Brunei and entourage of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

Somare, arriving today for a three-day working visit, would not be attending the regatta.

The Sarawak Regatta during the rule of the white rajahs was an important social event.

The tradition of holding the annual regatta in the Sarawak River continued through the colonial period and into independence.

This year, the Resident and District Office with about RM700,000 in the kitty, hopes to bring the grandeur back.

There are more races, prize money has been increased and the five top finishers in each race will receive cash prizes.

The regatta has drawn 321 teams and over 6,200 participants for the 15 categories.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Sarawak Regatta - A Brooke down on the river

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