Jong Regatta returns in Tasik Biru with bigger splash


Participants get ready to release their mini-sailboats in the lake.

KUCHING (Sept 26): The popular Jong Regatta made its comeback this year, with a total of 135 entries received.

Kicking off last Saturday, the mini-sailboat race was conducted as a crowd-pulling event at this year’s Tasik Biru Festival in Bau District, going on until this Oct 2.

Taking place over two days, the regatta hosted six race categories: the ‘Jong Skunar’, the ‘Skuci’, the ‘Batong Bandung’, the ‘Kotak’, the ‘Campuran’ and ‘Raja Tasik Biru’.

It is known that the mini-sailboat design is derived from a Chinese boat called ‘jong’ by the local community.

“The Jong Regatta is uniquely and historically synonymous with Bau, having been around since the British colonial era. The first-ever race was held in Bau on Aug 8, 1950, organised by the Bau District Office led by the district officer at that time, A.J.N Richard.

“The race is also closely related to the culture of the Chinese folks who migrated from China to work as gold miners in Bau in the 18th century. They came here using sailboats,” said the organisers in a press statement.

They also quoted Jong D’Bau Sports Recreation Club chairperson Marina Aminan as having said that the regatta was closely linked to the Malay community in Bau as well.

“They (the Malays in Bau) are involved in making the mini-sailboats. Apart from the race, the owner of the most beautiful ‘jong’ will also be awarded.

“Events such as this are a good platform to preserve the traditional sports and arts of the people here,” said Marina.

It is reported that thousands of people have visited Bau for the Tasik Biru Festival since its launch on Oct 22.

Apart from the ‘jong’ regatta, the event also has many other exciting programmes including the ‘Miss Tasik Biru’ beauty pageant, a motorsports showcase, arm-wrestling challenge, as well as sale booths and exhibitions run by government agencies.