Team Sultan Brunei wins VVIP Race of Sarawak Regatta 2017

Sultan Hassanal and his team on their boat before the start of the VVIP Race. — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The team representing the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah emerged victorious in the VVIP Boat Race final of Sarawak Regatta 2017 yesterday.

The ‘Sultan’s Squad’, led by Sultan Hassanal himself, clocked the finishing time of nine minutes and 26 seconds, ahead of the respective first and second runners-up, which were the teams representing Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

There were also other teams that represented Sarawak ministers including Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The 1.5km VVIP race was set up by the organisers to make this year’s regatta more exciting and colourful, in that each team was headed by the namesake VVIP themselves who paddled just as hard as their team-mates to reach the finishing line.

Abang Johari (front, centre) smiles to the camera as his team prepares for flag-off.

Meanwhile, Team Landas 11 was crowned Sarawak Regatta 2017’s ‘Raja Sungai (King of the River), after the neck-to-neck race against first runner-up team from Yayasan Sarawak.

The paddlers from Land and Survey Department clocked seven minutes and 40 seconds – five seconds ahead of their rivals from Yayasan Sarawak. Placing third was Team Landas 31, which recorded seven minutes and 54 seconds. Sultan Hassanal and Taib presented the prizes.

This year’s regatta ran from Nov 10 to 19. It hosted 14 categories, offering prizes worth up to RM240,000 – with the Raja Sungai champion taking home RM10,000.

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