The Sarawak Regatta is the ‘local name’ for the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta and Sarawak Regatta which are both boat racing competitions.

The former consist of international teams, while the later consist of local Sarawak teams.

Both competitions are annual boat races happening at the Sarawak River in Kuching and is held in conjunction with Kuching City day.

The Sarawak Regatta in particular dates from as early as 1972.

Both regattas are major tourist attraction for Kuching City, and with both competitions collecting participation from all over the world as records showing over 320 teams participating in each year’s race.

According to Sarawak Tourism, the significance of regattas in Sarawak dates back to 1872.

This was during the Rajah James Brooke era, in which the Rajah wanted to stop racial wars among local tribes.

James Brooke instructed all tribes to challenge each other by having boat races to prove their power and strength, in which the boat race was to replace headhunting which was practiced then.

Brooke’s idea worked and the event has since been carried out on an annual basis.

The Sarawak Regatta takes place along the Sarawak River.  The 1.3 km Kuching Waterfront provides ample vantage points to watch the action on the water.

What to expect

While international participation for the regatta is usual, those watching the fanfare are usually the locals.

During the competition, some streets would be closed to allow food and drinks stalls to operate, as well as to allow pedestrians safer walk along the streets of the Main Bazaar in Kuching.

During the regatta, the Kuching Waterfront becomes packed with supporters and onlookers as boat races and water sports activities take over the Sarawak River from morning until evening.

The main bazaar road adjacent to the Kuching Waterfront would also be turned into a market selling handicrafts and food items.

Below are some photos of past editions of the regatta.

Participants and entry fees

In 2022, those wanting to participate in the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta need to pay USD200 per team.

Watching the regatta is however free.

Sarawak Regatta date

The regatta is held annually for a few days.  The dates of some previous edition can be seen below.

  • 2019
  • 2022: 28 October – 6 November

How to watch the regatta

To watch the regatta, you need to go to the Kuching Waterfront which is located at the heart of Kuching City.

If you are staying in hotels in the city centre, you can just walk to the location.

Else, the map below will give you an idea of where Kuching Waterfront is located.

Other information about Sarawak Regatta

If you need more information about the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta or things related to the event, feel free to check out the links below.