Sarawak Regatta Gets Underway

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Above: About 320 teams will compete in the two-kilometer regatta.

More than 6,000 paddlers will descend on the Sarawak River in Borneo this weekend for the Sarawak Regatta, an event dubbed the “Race for Peace.” Inaugurated in 1872, its was founded as a means to diffuse rivalries among tribes in West Borneo, and to symbolise an incident when James Brooke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak, had to swim the river to escape marauding rebels attacking the Astana.

Today it is a colorful rowing contest and a highlight of Sarawak’s cultural calendar, where traditional bidar longboats, crewed by as many as 30 paddlers, vie for the coveted “King of the River” title.




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