Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sarawak Regatta, dragon boat race organised as one grand event

According to Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, the annual Sarawak Regatta and the inaugural International Dragon Boat Regatta could expect over 7,500 paddlers competing in different challenges throughout the four days beginning Sept 4.

“This year’s event will be different from those in previous years with the inclusion of the dragon boat competition,” he told a press conference held at his office in Wisma Baitulmakmur in Petra Jaya near here yesterday.

“This is the first year we are organising the Dragon Boat Regatta after last year’s Exhibition Race. It will be conducted under International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Competition and Rules of Racing,” he said, adding that this would also be the first time for the dragon boat race – an event that normally takes place along the shoreline or lakes – to be held in a river.

The Dragon Boat race expects a total of 20 teams comprising 600 peddlers to compete in four categories, namely International Mixed 12-Crew (minimum four women), International Open 12-Crew, International Mixed 20-Crew (minimum eight women) and Final International Open 20-Crew.

From this line-up, 14 are international teams from Australia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei and Canada; while the remaining six are from the state (two teams), Sabah, Perak, Penang and Putrajaya.

Participants will ply the 500-metre river route between Grand Margherita Hotel and Godown Amphitheatre, slugging it out to grab prizes totalling RM39,000 and medals.

In addition, Abang Johari also highlighted that the 14th East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF) General Assembly taking place simultaneously at Riverside Majestic Hotel here.