Monday, August 04, 2008

Sarawak Regatta: Mixture of sport and family fun

KUCHING: The just-concluded 2008 Sarawak Regatta with its carnival-like atmosphere was indeed an affair suitable for the family.

When the first event was held in 1871, the crowd probably numbered in the hundreds, but this year the organisers estimated that 20,000 people witnessed the races over the weekend.

Despite some threats of afternoon showers, the races were largely held under sunny skies, and the people came out in droves to soak up the communal ambiance.

It didn’t seem to matter that the ‘live commentary’ was largely inaudible or that there wasn’t much space for spectators along the scenic Kuching Waterfront.

For Dheliah Kiew, 18, the eldest among her siblings, the festival was just a “get-together time”.

“Where my family and I live (Kampung Sungai Laru) I can safely say half of the village is here,” Kiew said, surrounded by other family picnics on the lawn just behind the Chinese Museum.

“Most of us have been here since 8am and will only leave when the last race is over — or when it starts to rain. I’m more than happy to return next year.”

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