Crowds throng Temburong River to witness boat race

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds


Thousands of residents from Temburong District flocked to the Bangar town jetty to watch a boat racing competition during the River Festival held in conjunction with His Majesty’s 69th birthday celebration.

Spectators along the Temburong River cheered as racers for the power boat open category kicked off the annual racing event.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, the chairman of the event, Ampuan Hj Salleh Ampuan Hj Judah, said the boat race has always been the highlight of the birthday celebration.

“It’s something that we’ve done every year, and people love to watch it. This year, I can see that the crowd is larger than the previous year,” he said.

“The crowd will always stay right from the beginning until the race ends in the evening. It attracts spectators from outside districts (in the sultanate) as well as from Lawas and Limbang,” he added.

He noted that the competition has gained popularity among local youths.

“They (youth) have given positive support, as they also took part in the race...In my opinion, the competition every year is pretty interesting,” he said.

There were three categories for the race: power boat racing, fiberglass boat racing and bidar boat racing.

Each category consisted of several race laps for different boat engine horsepowers. There were no preliminary rounds for the race, as the top three winners were crowned for each battle.

The winner of the 40-horsepower three-lap race for the power boat category went to the Black Mamba racing team.

Speaking on behalf of the racer, the founder of Black Mamba, Md Suhaimi Md Bungsu, said his team has participated in boat races several times.

“Winning this category, I’m indeed happy, and we keep on improving ourselves in areas where we’re lacking. For our racer, he’s a new member with us, and it’s his passion (to drive power boats) too,” he said.

A total of 46 teams from Temburong and Brunei-Muara districts as well as from Limbang took part in the event.

The morning and afternoon sessions consisted of three- and five-lap races for the 15 to 60-horsepower power boat open category, two- and three-lap races for the 16 to 40-horsepower fiberglass boat category (local) and two- and three-lap races for the 15 to 90-horsepower _bidar _boat open category.

Winners of each race category were also awarded cash prizes at the end of the event.

A boat tug-of-war was also held to enliven the event.

In attendance as the guest of honour and to award the prizes was Temburong District Officer Hj Abdul Hamid Dato Paduka Hj Abdullah.

Also present were Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahad, penghulus and village heads as well as heads of sections of the Temburong District Office.

The Brunei Times