By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Oct 27: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today officially launched the Sarawak Regatta-Kuching Waterfront Festival 2018 at the heart of the city here.
This annual crowd-puller began yesterday (Oct 26) with more than 100 stalls selling a gamut of crafts, traditional food items and local products, making it a souvenir and cultural haven for visitors and tourists alike.
Apart from stalls, there is also the Sarawak Food Festival food court, complete with cultural dancers and buskers performing on the main stage.
The start of the Sarawak Regatta 2018 would be on Nov 2 with boat races as the main event.
The Dragon Boat Race will have five categories — International Open 20-crew, International Open 12-crew, International Mixed 12-crew, International Ladies 12-crew and International Master 12-crew.
Some 30 teams will be vying for honours in the Dragon Boat Race. The teams are from Brunei, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, Indonesia and Malaysia. From Malaysia, several teams are from Kuala Lumpur and Sabah, and the rest from Sarawak.
They will be vying for a share of the RM45,500 cash prizes.
Another highlight of the Sarawak Regatta this year would be the River King Trophy finals on Nov 4, where Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud is expected to attend.
There will be 13 categories and 24 qualifying races with 12 finals, with total cash prizes of up to RM240,000 up for grabs.
The winner of the River King Trophy will bring home RM10,000 cash.
Among those present at the opening ceremony were Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports’ Permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee. — DayakDaily