Organisers put final touches on regatta
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
PREPARATIONS are in full swing for the Regata Brunei Darussalam 2014, with organisers rehearsing at the Royal Wharf in the capital yesterday.
The rehearsals saw high-ranking officials touring the venue on land and water along the historical Kampong Ayer to ensure the regatta runs smoothly tomorrow.
Present at the afternoon rehearsals were Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Halbi Hj Mohd Yussof and Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman.
The visiting officials went aboard two boats and cruised about five kilometers from the jetty at the Royal Wharf to the Brunei River near Kuala Sg Lumapas.
Observing the preparations, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs said he was confident that this year’s regatta would be livelier compared to the previous years.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, the deputy minister lauded the strategic location of the venue where the Regata Brunei Darussalam would be held.
Praising Brunei’s historical treasure of Kg Ayer, Pehin Dato Hj Halbi added that organising such an event in the Brunei River would attract more visitors to the country as it is part of the Bruneian heritage.
Another reason for visitors to tour the country is because of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s participation in the regatta, he added.
Pehin Dato Hj Halbi noted that this year’s participation from Nanjing, China, a ‘sister city’ to Bandar Seri Begawan as a result of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2011, would further enliven the race.
Meanwhile, Director of Fire and Rescue Department Yahya Hj Abdul Rahman said security has been stepped up to ensure the safety of participants and the public.
He said jetskis would be placed on standby to deal with any emergencies, compared to the use of rubber boats last year.
Security is further enhanced with CCTVs installed in various routes for surveillance, Yahya said.
“We will continue to place emphasis on the safety of the participants and the public through an improved coordination among agencies such as the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF),” he added.
For medical services, the director said ambulance boats would be deployed at various points during the race.
He also said that the medical services are supported by the Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society and the RBAF medical personnel.
“There will also be personnel standing by for emergencies and for this event, we even had trainings to improve ways to carry out safety procedures.
“Thus, we are fully prepared in ensuring the safety of the people on the day itself,” he added.
The Brunei Times