| Achong Tanjong |
THE Lela Cheteria boat race team from Brunei will participate in the International Dragon Boat Race to be held in Kuching, Sarawak in conjunction with the annual Kuching Waterfront Festival and Sarawak Regatta from October 26 to November 4. The team will leave for Kuching on October 24.
Thirty teams from 12 countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will compete this year compared to only 10 countries participating last year.
The event is expected to be launched by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on October 27 and the closing ceremony is to be officiated by the Head of State, Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on November 4.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, quoted by a Malaysian newspaper as saying at a press conference yesterday that the two-week festival would feature the International Dragon Boat Race from October 26 to 28, followed by the Sarawak Regatta from November 2 – 4.
He said that the Dragon Boat Race will have five categories, namely the International Open’s 20 crew, International Open’s 12 crew, International Mixed 12 crew, International Ladies 12 crew, and International Master 12 crew.
The annual event attracted some 10,000 visitors daily last year and this year, the Kuching Waterfront is expected to see a bigger crowd. The Sarawak Regatta and the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Race offer RM280,000 worth of prizes.
The highlight of the Sarawak Regatta is the River King Trophy (Piala Raja Sungai) scheduled for November 4 where Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is expected to attend.
This year, there will be 14 categories of boat races involving 24 qualifying races and 12 finals. Sarawak Regatta is offering cash prizes of up to RM240,000 while the River King Trophy comes with a cash prize of RM10,000.