Rajang River Regatta was back! It was held on country's longest river - the Rejang river on last weekend 13-14 March 2010. Still remember the last time Sibu organized such event was about 20 years ago. I still couldn't forget the excitement when I was brought to watch the event.
This time the event was held along the Rejang river near Sibu Town Square Phase 2. The crowd was overwhelming! I kept trying to sneak into the front row hoped to take some clear shots but I just couldn't find a space for me to do so.
After some efforts, finally I successfully sneaked into a "prohibited area" which actually only accessible by official staff and contestants. Who care? As long as nobody chase me away, I will be there to take the best photos for Just Sharing readers!
On the first day, it was the Kenyalang boat race where this specially made racing boats were boarded by 20 people consists of a drummer, a navigator and 18 paddlers. These racing boats are called "Kenyalang boats" as the front side of the boats were decorated with sculpture of Sarawak symbolic bird's head, the hornbill (Kenyalang in local Iban language) and the rear part by hornbill's tail.
I just managed to watch one race as I was burning alive under the hot sun just to wait for one! It took very long time for the preparation before a race started. There weren't much shelters around, but if you choose to hide inside the shelter, I guess you will end up watching human heads.
The rule is simple. Whoever get to the ending point fastest is the winner of the competition. The paddlers will follow the rhythm of the drummer to row their boat as hard as they can and the navigator will navigate the boat to the correct path. This is all about cooperation and team works. Whichever team who can row the boat to the full strength and works uniformly likely will be the winner!
For the contestants, it was not just about winning the competition but it was also about the satisfaction they gained from this activity.
Second day was the highlight of the event when power boats with high engine performance were taking part in the races. There were few categories of power boats, but the one attracted the most attention was the F3000 power boats. These were the power boats that you could see on tv and being competed worldwide. Contestants who came all the way from Australia and Brunei Darul Salam brought the highlights to the race!
This time, I couldn't find any available space to sneak in to take clear shots. The crowd was overwhelming! Every space which allow them to view the race had been fully occupied. The "prohibited area" I mentioned before was highly guarded on that day as it was used to crane the power boats into the water.
I couldn't even stay near to the area! When I did so, there was a guy on duty to guard the area would ask me to go away! I nearly about to tell him "I am a reporter ok?"!! He really pissed me off but I understand that was his duty though.
At the end of the day, no nice photo was taken. Just some shots on the F3000 power boats before they were craned into the water for race. It was really a big failure and disappointment for me!
I am not sure, but I personally felt that it was not a very pleasant event as the selected venue has a very limited space for the spectators. Only those stand at front rows could really see the on-going races. The remaining either you are tall enough or you manage to find some high place to step on, otherwise you will end up sitting on the ground listening to the engine sounds. Imagine the dissapointment of the kids who were unable to view the races!
I guess this is something that the organizing committee shall improve if there is any similar event organized in the near future.
This is what the kids like the most!
... and this is the bad habit of Sibu people!!