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There was little protocol yesterday when the Monarch and the people joined hands and oars to bring cheer and excitement to the day's regatta on the Brunei River. The presence of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam brought joy and smiles to the event held in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty's Accession to The Throne. The Brunei River was practically the focal point of happy scenes during the regatta. More significant was His Majesty acting as the Role Model of an active and healthy lifestyle to the people.
Upon arrival at the Bandar Seri Begawan Royal Wharf, His Majesty was greeted by the Co-Chairmen of the Sectoral Committee for the Celebration and District/Mukim Events, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, The Minister Of Home Affairs, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, The Minister Of Primary Resources And Tourism and Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja (Retired) Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, The Minister Of Culture, Youth And Sports.
Also gracing the event were His Majesty's sons, brother and sister His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel; His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bolkiah, and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
His Majesty then partook in the 15 paddlers Fibre Glass Boat Special race that began from Kampung Tamoi Ujung area. Eight teams raced in the event and His Majesty led His Majesty's team which used the boat named Raja Wali.
Meanwhile, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince led the Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota team. The Crown Prince's team used the boat called the Punai.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Malik led oarsmen on the boat called Pimping as the leader of Pasukan Orang-Orang Bergelar or Titled Persons Team.
His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah was the leader of the Wazir's team on the Layang-layang.
His Majesty's racing in the regatta today was another unforgettable chapter in the history of Water Sports in Kampung Ayer. The regatta, especially the rowing races will always be a much liked activity among the country's citizens and residents especially with His Majesty's very keen participation every time it is organised, making lumba perahu or traditional boat racing a permanent and unique sports activity.
The Special Event was won by His Majesty's team led personally by His Majesty, the Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota team led by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was second and the Penghulu Mukim and Ketua Kampung team was third.
His Majesty also watched the 20 Paddlers Youths Below 30 Years Old Fibre Glass Boat race. Nine teams took part in the race. Youths are encouraged to participate so they can gain experience and understand that boat racing takes a lot of commitment, training and focus. This in turn would transform them into youths who are strong physically, mentally and spiritually. The GATA Brunei Gabungan Tamoi team won this event. Lela Cheteria Team was second and Kampong Setia was third.
Six teams took part in the 15 paddlers Inter-Institutions and Higher Learning Institutes Fibre Glass Boat Race. The teams were Universiti Brunei Darussalam,UBD; Universiti Teknologi Brunei,UTB; Sutlan Sharif Ali Islamic University, UNISSA; Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College, KUPU SB; Politeknik Brunei; and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education, IBTE. The UTB was the winner while IBTE was second and UBD third.
The public came in great numbers to see the races today. The regatta was a concerted effort by the government to preserve the traditional boat race. The climax was the 30 paddlers Traditional Boat Marathon Race which saw 16 teams taking part, including 3 foreign teams. His Majesty launched the race at Kuala Sungai Lumapas. Overall, the regatta attracted more than one thousand, three hundred participants with 52 local and foreign teams taking part.
Besides local teams, the 5-kilometre race was also participated by a team from the neighbouring state. The Laksamana Sinapuan team from Sarawak won the race. Mukim Saba team was second while the Lela Cheteria team was third.
His Majesty and members of the Royal Family were then invited to view the exhibition on the Regatta in Conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty's Accession to The Throne on the Bandar Seri Begawan Royal Wharf. The exhibition organised by the Museums Department with the cooperation of the Information Department showcased photographs of His Majesty and members of the Royal Family during the Brunei Darussalam Regatta 2016.
Meanwhile, an exhibition organised by Digital Media students from the ICT School of Politeknik Brunei focused on the artistic beauty of the regatta in the form of photography and videography starting from the trainings until the actual races.
The Brunei Jet Sports Association, BJSA showcased the participation the association's members in jetski races and prizes won in and outside the country. It was hoped the exhibition would stir interest towards improving performance the sports locally, in the region and on the international arena.
His Majesty then presented the prizes to the winners. In the 15 paddlers Fibre Glass Boat Special Race won by His Majesty's Team that was led personally by His Majesty, the prizes were 3 thousand dollars, a trophy and a medal. The Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota team led by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince was second and received one thousand five hundred dollars, a trophy and a medal. The Penghulu Mukim and Ketua-Kampung team in third place received one thousand dollars, a trophy and a medal.
GATA Brunei Gabungan Tamoi team who won the 20 paddlers Youth Below 30 Years Old Fibre Glass Boat Race received five hundred fifty dollars and a trophy.
The UTB who became champions of the 15 paddlers Inter-Institutions and Higher Learning Institutes Fibre Boat Glass race won five hundred dollars and a trophy.
Sarawak's Laksamana Sinapuan team won the 30 paddlers Traditional Boat Marathon Race received six thousand dollars, a trophy and a medal. The second place was won by Mukim Saba Team who received four thousand dollars, trophy and medal, while the lela Cheteria team in thrid place won three thousand dollars, a trophy and medal. Sarawak's Laksamana Sinapuan team also won the Golden Jubilee 30 paddlers Traditional Boat Marathon Race Challenge Trophy.
The sail-past of ships from various government agencies marked the end of the Golden Jubilee Regatta.
The Regatta organised in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty's Accession to The Throne would certainly become another part of the country's oral history or tradition. However, the most important aspect was the close rapport and interaction between His Majesty and the people, participating in the regatta and bringing joy and cheer to all those present, creating a lively, cordial and harmonious atmosphere, while simultaneously creating a new chapter of history in enhancing and further cementing the bond of affection between the Monarch and the country's citizens and residents.
News courtesy of Radio Television BruneiPhoto courtesy of InfoFoto
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