Thousands watch final day of Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari


The waterfront in Kapit was jam-packed with people from all walks of life yesterday.

KAPIT: Thousands of people from all walks of life crowded Kapit Terminal and its vicinity to see competitors of the annual Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari rowing hard to cross the finishing line yesterday.

Thirty-six teams from the Army (ATM), government departments, political parties, and longhouse village security and development committees (JKKKs) fought for honours in the two-day spectacle that began life in 1996.

This year’s edition was divided into two legs. The first leg was flagged off by Hulu Rajang MP Wilson Ugak Kumbong at Rumah Alan in Nanga Sekerohon on Saturday.

The second leg was flagged off by Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing at Rumah Weng in Mujong River yesterday.

There were four teams competing in the Men’s Bamboo Open category, 17 teams (Men’s Closed (Inter Department/Local Clubs and Associations) category), four teams (Women Bamboo Open), eight teams (Freestyle category), and three teams (Paddle Boat category).

Some of the competitors were from Sibu, Kuching, the 9th Brigade Malaysian Infantry, Bintulu, Ngemah, Machan, and Tamin.

To give the annual event a carnival-like touch, side activities thrown into the mix included a two-day powerboat competition organised by Kapit Division Powerboat Association for 80 boats.

There were also a ‘pua kumbu’ and handicraft competitions at Fort Sylvia Kapit (organised by Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) Kapit branch), a Sarawak Cergas event involving some 500 locals at Kapit Town Square (organised by Social Development Office), karaoke singing competition, Battle of the Band contest, and a big bike road show.

A total of RM45,900 in prize money was up for grabs in this year’s raft safari.