KUCHING: Sarawak has won the bid to stage the 2011 Wakeboard World Cup Stop this year, beating high powered bidders including Barbados, Croatia, Colombia, Singapore and China.
Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip said the state secured the rights from the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) to host the World Cup Stop at the Sarawak River Waterfront.
He said the event was provisionally calendared for Sept 16 to 18 and to be held in conjunction with the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s birthday celebration.
“At least 15 countries will compete in the event, including the United States, Canada, China, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Belgium, France, Great
Britain, Sweden, Holland, South Africa, Russia, Argentina and Korea,” he said.
Talib said the Stop was a major event that can bring the sport to Kuching and capture international headlines.
He said in addition to the main competition, the Ministry of Tourism and
Heritage has also decided to bring in world famous “Stars of Florida Waterski Show Team” to entertain holiday makers and water sports enthusiasts from Malaysia and tourists from around the world.
Chairman of the Malaysia Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, Kuno Ritschard, said the federation might propose a water ski school in Kuching so that more
people would take part and enjoy the sport, just like those in western countries.
He said the federation could assist in terms of expertise and infrastructure but would need financial support from the state government and a suitable location for the school.
“The Wakeboard World Cup Stop in Kuching will not just be a one time event for the IWWF as they want to leave a legacy behind to ensure development of the sport in future,” he said. — Bernama