A total of 50 registered participants from Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak will compete in the inaugural Brunei Darussalam Yachting Association (BDYA) Sailing Championship 2019 from tomorrow to Sunday.
A press conference was held at McDonald’s Brunei’s Gadong branch yesterday, hosted by BDYA President Dato Paduka Haji Idris bin Haji Abas; BDYA Deputy President and organising committee chairman Muhammad Fadzlin bin Hassan; and BDYA Vice President Keel Boat and head of logistic and support for the organising committee Bohari Abdullah.
Dato Paduka Haji Idris said, “We are very happy to host the first sailing championship which will be held from Friday to Sunday this week at the newly built BDYA Clubhouse in Pantai Serasa. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin as the guest of honour will officiate the BDYA Sailing Championship 2019 on Saturday morning.”
The objective of the sailing championship, the BDYA President explained, is “to promote water sports in Brunei Darussalam, especially for the youth. This is our mission. In the future, we are planning to host roadshows and also encourage schools to establish their own sailing club.”
He said, “Through this, we hope that sailing and windsurfing sports will be popular in the country. Actually, children can start at the age of seven in sailing.”
On the newly built BDYA clubhouse, he said “Alhamdulillah, we were able to complete our own building in time for the championship. This will be our base for future activities.
“The club house, located at Pantai Serasa, is made from two 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container on an 0.1 acre land. There are office and conference rooms on the first floor while on the ground floor is the storage for boats. It took three months to build the clubhouse.”
Dato Paduka Haji Idris also conveyed his appreciation to the supporters of the event such as the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Police Force, Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam; and Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation under the Ministry of Development. He also thanked McDonald’s Brunei for the support and hope for continued long-term support in the future.
Touching on the BDYA, he said, “The association was established more than 20 years ago. The association covers powerboat, windsurfing, sailing, boat surfing and other water sports. BDYA is a member of the World Sailing Federation, ASEAN Sailing Federation and we are sanctioned by the Brunei Darussalam National Olympics Council to participate in international events.
“If we have talented sailors, we can compete in international events. The door is open for us. It is our task to nurture local tailors to compete at a world class level. We hope to train our young sailors for future competitions.”
He added, “We will also have festival for local vendors, organised by Collective Arts this weekend. So we encourage people to come and enjoy at the beach and promote local entrepreneurship. This is a catalyst to introduce the event and we hope it will become a regular event in the future.”
Muhammad Fadzlin, meanwhile, said, “From the total number of participants, 15 local sailors from the BDYA and the Royal Brunei Navy are taking part in the championship. The objective of the championship is part of our white paper programme for the development of sailing and selection for national athletes for the future.”
He also said, “We also aim to support the protection of environment in the event by imposing sanctions for participants, such as sailors found littering in the water will be disqualified, and discouraging use of single use plastic.
“Three classes will be contested – Dinghies, Laser and Optimist, as well as Windsurfers from Pantai Serasa to Pulau Chermin. Over the three days, there will be one marathon and five circuit races. We are also deploying professional principle race officers and officials from abroad.”
Asked on the threat of crocodiles, Dato Paduka Haji Idris said, “The Wildlife Division has not come up with the specific solutions yet. Crocodiles like quiet places and if we make a lot of noise, they will move away.”