| Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman |
THE history of boat racing in Brunei dates back to 1930 and since then has been passed down to generations of the Kampong Tamoi community until today.
Among the pioneers of boat racing in Brunei were the late Bakar bin Kasim, Abdul Rahim bin Tarif, Keria bin Tarif and the late Baba Lo Wee as well as the youth of Kampong Tamoi.
In 1940, boat racing activities were halted due to the Japanese occupation in Brunei during the Second World War.
The activity was revived after the war.
The boat racing festival was held twice a year at that time. One in the beginning of the year called ‘Lumba Berjanuari’ and the other during the second day of Hari Raya.
Spectators of the event would gather at Dermaga Kastam Lama which is the current Dermaga Diraja, on the balcony of their houses at Kampong Ayer as well as on their own boats docked by the riverside.
In the early 1950s, the late Bakar bin Kasim and Abdul Rahim bin Tarif did maintenance work on two of Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien’s racing boats named ‘Duri’ and ‘Surandit’.
The two racing boats were the champions of the 15-, 20- and 25-rowers’ events held in Kuching, Sarawak back in 1957.