Bandar Seri Begawan - Those planning to compete in this year's Regata Brunei Darussalam have been urged to train hard and make the day both significant and memorable.
That was the message of Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Halbi Hj Mohd Yussof yesterday, who is also the chairman of the Executive Committee of Regata Brunei Darussalam 2013.
"The regatta is a very unique event. It is only done once a year," Pehin Dato Hj Halbi said.
"We urged them (the participants) to train hard and make the day a very significant and memorable one," he said in an interview with The Brunei Times.
He further expressed the hope that the regatta would attract tourists. Pehin Dato Hj Halbi, together with Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman and Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong were training at the Dermaga Diraja (Royal Wharf) in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.
The deputy minister said participating teams - including ambassadors, high commissioners and permanent secretaries - had been had been training at a different location.
"The teams of ministers and deputy ministers are also here to train and see the preparations at the Dermaga Diraja," he added.
Despite having only limited time to practice, Pehin Dato Hj Halbi said spectators could be sure that everyone would do their utmost to win.
Regarding preparations for the event, he said everything was going smoothly and that there would be a final coordination meeting later yesterday and a full rehearsal for the regatta tomorrow.
Senior Special Duties Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs Hj Madali Md Yussof said the ministers, deputy ministers, ambassadors, high commissioners, as well as the committee team, would compete in the "Special Boat Race" category.
Secretariat and committee member of Regata Brunei Darussalam 2013, Hj Sueb Rizal Hj Abd Malik, said the committee teams were ready for the physical and mental demands of the race.
The Special Boat Race will take place over a 1,500-metre distance.
Among the high-ranking officials training on the Kampung Sungai Bunga river yesterday were US Ambassador His Excellency Daniel Shields, Indonesian Ambassador His Excellency Handriyo Kusumo Priyo, Malaysian High Commissioner His Excellency Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar, Australian High Commissioner His Excellency Todd Norman Mercer, British High Commissioner His Excellency Rob Fenn, Philippine Ambassador His Excellency Nestor Z Ochoa and Indian High Commissioner His Excellency Lal Duhthalane Ralte.
Regata Brunei Darussalam 2013, which is the second since its revival last year, will take place on Sunday. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.--Courtesy of The Brunei Times