10-year wait ends with victory
by Matthew T. Umpang, email@example.com. Posted on September 17, 2012, Monday
KUCHING: After 10 years of participating in the Sarawak Regatta, skipper Seikh Salihin can now stand tall after guiding his team to win the coveted “King of Sarawak River” title in a thrilling race.
His team, who participated at the Sarawak Regatta under the name of ‘Puteri Berkaya Sri Urai’, defeated 16 other boats yesterday evening to emerge champion in the 30 paddlers boat category.
It was however a tough neck-to-neck battle to the finishing line as ‘Puteri Berkaya Sri Urai’ had to see off tough competition by resilient challengers – Yayasan Sarawak’s ‘Puteri Dang Balai 2’. The runners-up finished a mere six seconds behind the champions. The highly fancied ‘Cahaya Zen 5’ team had to settle for the last podium place.
“I am so happy with my team. We trained hard for this event and I think we totally deserved this title,” commented Seikh after the prize giving ceremony.
With the win, Seikh and his team were awarded the Head of State challenge trophy, cash prize and a special souvenir. Sarawak Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abg Muhammad Salahuddin was present at the ceremony to give away the prizes.
“This win is for Sarawak as my paddlers are made up of all locals (Sarawakians). To me that is meaningful indeed as this is our turf and I am proud of my all-Sarawakian team,” enthused Seikh.
Mohamad Adzlie Ibrahim who represented Yayasan Sarawak’s ‘Puteri Dang Balai 2’ team coach Nazri Jamali commented that they will definitely put up a challenge for the title next year. He was however satisfied with the performances of his team despite finishing as bridesmaid.
A total of 6,353 paddlers participated at this year’s edition of the Sarawak Regatta. During the three-day event, 15 categories of races were contested.
For the record, all racers must endure a paddling distance of 2-kilometres along the Sarawak River in all categories this year. The race cum festival closed its curtains yesterday evening.