MARUDI: It was a sea of colour, culture and traditions here yesterday as thousands of people from all walks of life thronged the town square for the 118th Baram Regatta.
The sunny weather in the morning beckoned over 7,000 people to the banks of Baram River here on the second day of the most awaited regatta that kicked off yesterday.
A total of 64 boats representing 27 teams took part in the paddling events yesterday with Mulu Terawan team sending the biggest team this year with 10 boats.
Present to experience the historic ‘Mother of all Regattas’ was Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and entourage who arrived at the town at 3pm.
Upon arrival, the Head of State and his entourage including Transportation Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil were welcomed by Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Marudi assemblyman Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.
The entourage was then led to Marudi Wharf to watch the Decorated Boat Competition.
Eleven teams took part in this competition namely Sarawak Kayan Association (PKS), Petipun Penan Sarawak representing the Penan community, Kelab Kelestarian Warisan Tradisi Kenyah Long Moh Baram (Keleput), Mulu Terawan, Persatuan Melayu Marudi, Long Ikang, Federation of Chinese Association Marudi, Long Panai, Higlanders representing the Kelabit and Bujang Gawai Sandau Ari representing the Iban community.
Each boat was beautifully decorated to depict the identity and culture of each team. Many teams made extra effort in showcasing dances on the boats as they sailed past the main stage.
Team Keleput had the best decorated boat for which it won RM1,000 and a trophy.
Second place went to Bujang Gawai Sandau Ari which received RM800 and a trophy, while third-placed PKS received RM500 and a trophy.
The prizes were presented to the winners by the Head of State.