MARUDI: Decorated longboats will add splashes of colour to the Baram River on Oct 1 as part of events for the Baram Regatta.
Robert Laing Anyie, a political secretary to the Chief Minister, said there will be decorated longboats involving the Orang Ulu, Iban, Malay and Chinese communities.
The boats, he said, would carry the regatta torch for the handing over ceremony, or ‘Maten Tebuko Sengaran’ in Kayan, to Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“After handing over the Tebuko to the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the boat parade would move upriver together with the guest of honour on the boat,” he said after a technical committee meeting yesterday.
Longboats which have yet to register, he said, could do so with Baram District Officer Joseph Belayong until Sept 29.
He added that preparations by participants for the regatta have been going smoothly.
“For instance Long Terawan/Mulu, the former Baram Regatta Champions of 2008, have been practising every day since August. They have young and energetic paddlers below 50 years training for the battle on October 1 and 2.
“Challenges are expected from the Betong and Belaga teams, like there was in 2008. And Long Laput, under the management of Councillor Wan Lah, have promised to send at least 16 longboats for all the events. They also have been preparing every evening at their longhouse,” said Robert.