KUCHING: The Sarawak Regatta is an ideal platform to showcase Sarawak as a progressive, developed and peaceful tourism destination.
According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, side events of the boat race, such as the food and handicraft bazaars and the Dragon Boat Race had over the years managed to lure visitors and tourists by the thousands to the state capital.
“The success of Sarawak Regatta, the 144th edition this year, is another manifestation of close collaboration between various government and private agencies related to the tourism industry with their federal counterparts.
“We have successfully roped in corporations to help with Petronas as the main sponsor for this year’s regatta,’ said Adenan.
He said this in a message contained in the Sarawak Regatta 2016 booklet distributed to members of the press yesterday.
Adenan, who was represented by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the opening ceremony, added that the regatta had to attract more international participants in future to gain more international attention.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the regatta, held to unite the different races through a boat race dubbed as ‘The Great Peace Making’ in Marudi 144 years ago, had evolved into a huge event which was now included in the state tourism calender.
His message, which was also conveyed in the Sarawak Regatta 2016 booklet, urged the local people to come to the Kuching Waterfront and experience for themselves the regatta with foreign visitors.
The regatta this year has nine close and eight open categories, with teams aiming for the ultimate ‘Bidar 30-paddler International’ category scheduled for today to wrest the Tuan Yang Di Pertua Negeri Sarawak trophy and ‘King of the River’ title.
Apart from the opening ceremony, two competitions were held yesterday. They were the ‘Brooke Swim’ which required participants to swim from one bank of the Sarawak River to the other and the ‘Duck-catching’ contest.
The regatta also features 100 handicraft and 34 food stalls to add merriment to the festival carrying the theme ‘Race for Harmony’.