The annual Sarawak Regatta is set to take place from November 4 to 6, showcasing the exciting boat races with participation from various government agencies, private sectors and neighbouring countries of Indonesia and Brunei. Teams from villages around Sarawak make it a grand affair and also a great occasion for families from outside Kuching to visit the city. The blue-ribbon event is the coveted ‘Raja Sungai’ (king of the river) title in the ‘bidar’ category. Each longboat carries thirty paddlers and this category is always a closely fought affair.
The significance of regattas in Sarawak dates back to 1872 during the James Brooke era. It started with the intention to stop racial wars among local tribes where headhunting was largely practiced. James Brooke then instructed all tribes to instead challenge each other by having boat races to prove their power and strength. The call to challenge each other through the boat race rather than headhunting was successful in bringing peace to the area.
James Brooke called all tribes to challenge each other not in violence, but instead in sportsmanship, by having boat races to prove their power, strength and speed; a call that has since continued to bring peaceful competitiveness between the tribes along the Rajang.
The villages throughout Sarawak will be sending their representatives to compete in the regatta for the coveted ‘Raja Sungai’ title, making a grand occasion of comradery, teamwork and healthy rivalry.
Each longboat carries thirty paddlers and this category is always a closely fought affair and a major crowd puller, while the programme also includes the “Brooke Swim”, Raft Tug-of-war, and duck catching as well as various exhibitions and markets along the waterfront selling cultural crafts, wares and food.
The Sarawak Regatta takes place along the Sarawak River. The 1.3 km Kuching Waterfront provides ample vantage points to watch the action on the water.
KUCHING: Landas has reclaimed the coveted ‘Raja Sungai’ (King of the River) crown in Sarawak Regatta 2019, more than compensating for the team’s lacklustre performance in last year’s edition.
The rowers from Sarawak Land and Survey Department beat the rising star team Udak and team Jang BS in the Raja Sungai 30 Men Paddlers category, earning themselves not only the ‘Raja Sungai’ title but also the ‘TYT Trophy’ and RM10,000 cash award.
Team Udak, consisting of local paddlers from Kuching and villages around the city, was one of the favourites to win the title but had to settle for second place trophy and RM8,000 cash.
Third place was Team Jang BS II who brought home RM6,000 cash and a trophy.
It was an intense 1.88km race along Sungai Sarawak with the finish line just before the Musical Fountain at the Kuching Waterfront here today.
Jarak A ke Penamat : 1500 meter
Jarak B ke Penamat : 1000 meter