KUCHING: Dewa team aboard the perahu “Wangsamas” paddled their way to the “King of the River” title in the prestigious Bidar 30 Paddlers category of the Sarawak Regatta at the Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.
The victory enabled the team to lift the Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Challenge Trophy, the champion’s trophy and RM3,500.
Coming in second place in the race that was witnessed by the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin were Jang A (Kuda Hitam) who received a trophy and RM3,000.
Puteri Dang Balai finished third to pick up a trophy and RM2,500 while fourth and fifth were Zecon Sri Urai and Pusaka Satu respectively.
Dewa team manager Saperi Rambli was very happy with the victory of his team who were regarded as the underdogs.
“This victory is the dream of every team competing in the Sarawak Regatta, and we have achieved our target to win though unexpectedly,” he said.
Saperi added that the paddlers from Kampung Seberang Hilir and Kampung Sambas have proven their capability in winning the title.
“This win is most meaningful to Dewa as we have succeeded in breaking the stranglehold of the “King of the River” which has been traditionally dominated by Landas, Pusaka and Zecon,” added Saperi.
He dedicated the win to his late brother Samsuddin Rambli who died during the Sarawak Regatta season two years ago.
The prizes for the “King of River” were presented to the winners by Salahuddin.
Meanwhile, the Bidar 30 Paddlers vying for the Tourism Malaysia Challenge Trophy was won by Perahu Crystal Inn (Sri Aman), with Hoover Hotel Sri Aman as the runners-up, third Jang Merdeka Palace and fourth Pusaka Dua (Grand Margherita).
In the Kenyalang 20 Paddlers Inter Varsity race, Swinburne New Pirates emerged the champions while second and third were IKMK Warrior and UITM Sarawak respectively.