Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sabah International Dragon Boat Race to be held earlier this year

KOTA KINABALU: The third Sabah FCAS International Dragon Boat Race 2016 will be held in May with a total of RM74,000 cash prize to be won.

The race will be held at Likas Bay on May 21 and 22 from 6am to 1pm.

Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president cum event chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Dr T.C. Goh said the federation had set a target to attract 120 teams to join the race this year, which was an increase from 117 participating teams last year.

“We have had inquiries from Shanghai and Xiamen (in China), while a team from Foshan have confirmed their participation,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

Meanwhile, organizing chairlady Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen said the federation had decided to bring the dragon boat race forward from June to May for the first time this year with the aim to support the state government’s effort in promoting the tourism industry.

“By holding the race at the end of May, international and domestic contestants will have the opportunity to join and experience the Harvest Festival celebrations in the state.

“This will not only showcase the unique culture of Sabah, but also spur the state’s tourism industry and economy.”

Furthermore, Wong said many international dragon boat races were held in June, thus holding the third Sabah FCAS International Dragon Boat Race at an earlier date would avoid clashes on race days, thereby attracting more participation, especially foreign teams.

“To date, many local, Sarawakian and West Malaysian teams, as well as those from Foshan and Xiamen, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, and Australia have expressed their interest in joining the race.

“FCAS hopes more foreign teams will take part in the dragon boat race this year and make the event a success.”

The dragon boat race is divided into nine categories, including the coveted Sabah Head of State Trophy for international and top Malaysian men teams (800 metres) that comes with RM10,000 for the champion, RM5,000 for the first runner-up and RM2,000 for the second runner-up.

Other categories are the Sabah Chief Minister Trophy (Malaysian men teams, 800m), Sabah FCAS Dragon Trophy (international and Malaysian mix teams, 800m), FCAS Trophy (United Sabah Chinese Community Associations of Kota Kinabalu constituent members, 800m), FCAS Trophy (Malaysian men team, 800m), FCAS Trophy (mixed teams, 800m), Kinabalu Dragon Trophy (junior teams under 20 years old, 800m), Kinabalu Dragon Trophy (international and Malaysian men teams, 200m) and Kinabalu Dragon Trophy (mixed teams, 200m).

All the winning teams will receive medals as well.

Wong informed that registration for the dragon boat race is now open and the deadline is May 10, 2016.