Sunday, June 16

Next year’s regatta to see international participation

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SIMPLY AMAZING: Stars of Florida thrill the crowd at Kuching Waterfront with one of their routines.

KUCHING: Tourism and Heritage Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg revealed that Sarawak Regatta 2012 would again see international participation.

The chairman of Permanent Organising Committee Sarawak Regatta pointed out that Sarawakians could expect an internationally-recognised side event next year though he did not go into details.

Describing this year’s event as different, he said the Sarawak Wakeboard World Cup (WWC) 2011 had heightened the profile on the Sarawak Regatta.

“We have included WWC this year and it has recorded improvement to our regatta, a cultural event to unite the people of Sarawak and motivate them to work as a team.

“With the event extended to include WWC, it also represents part of our efforts to promote tourism attractions in Sarawak,” he told a news conference after Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud launched Sarawak Regatta 2011 and International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Wakeboard World Cup 2011 at Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is Housing and Urban Development Minister, felt that the state could organise more water-related events following the success of this year’s WWC held in conjunction with regatta.

He believed that hosting international games would help the state draw in draw more foreigners.

During the launch, world renowned ‘Stars of Florida Waterski Show Team’ staged performances that attracted crowds who applauded their skills.

This year’s regatta saw the highest number of participants in history with some 6,700 paddlers divided into 345 teams.

Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhamad Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah are guests-of-honour at the regatta’s grand finale today.