Int’l Dragon Boat Regatta, Sarawak Regatta 2022 return with cash, trophies to be won

Abdul Karim (fifth right) in a photo call with others following the press conference in Kuching today (Sept 13, 2022).

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Sept 13: Following a two-year hiatus, some of the best boat crews from around the world and the country will paddle down the Sarawak River to compete in two major year-end festivals—the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta (SIDBR) and the Sarawak Regatta.

The Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta will take place from Oct 28 to Oct 30 and the Sarawak Regatta Boat Race will take place from Nov 4 to Nov 6.


According to the Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, SIDBR will feature 50 teams and 1,453 participants from 16 different countries.

“A total of 16 countries will participate in the 8th Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta this year.

“Among them are Britain, Georgia, Cyprus, Italy, United States of America, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Brunei, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

“The total value of all prizes, including trophies and cash, is RM100,000,” Abdul Karim said today at a press conference at Bangunan Baitul Makmur 2.

In addition, he mentioned that seven new teams are participating in the SIDBR this year: Iran, Georgia, Italy, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Britain, and the UAE.

“After two years of lockdown, everyone is waiting for events like this to happen again and the response has been very good.

“It will be good for tourism and the State as well, and we are making arrangements for the paddlers to visit the Borneo Cultures Museum and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim announced that entries for the Sarawak Regatta will open on Wednesday (Sept 14) for 14 categories, including “perahu balok”, “perahu bidar”, and “perahu kenyalang” races.

He also revealed a new category for “perahu tambang” would be introduced to preserve the heritage of these boats which ferry passengers across the Sarawak River.

“The “Raja Sungai” winner will receive a trophy and RM20,000 in cash. The total prize money for all competitions is RM254,000 which includes trophies and cash,” he added.

Abdul Karim who is also the Minister for Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development, also urged airlines not to reschedule or cancel flights in the coming months, as this could jeopardise the paddlers’ participation.

“Many of them have booked their flights. If the flight is suddenly rescheduled, they may not be able to take part in the race,” he noted, adding that he would be closely monitoring the airlines.

In light of events lined up for October, he predicted that the number of tourists visiting Sarawak would increase in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, he disclosed that between January and August of this year, the State had already recorded 897,903 arrivals, including 206,328 international tourists.

“We expect the numbers to shoot up from October to December. October will be a busy month as we have the Spartan Trail World Championship event, the Kuching Jazz Festival, the What About Kuching (WAK) Festival and the Kuching Marathon,” Abdul Karim added. — DayakDaily