The regatta held at Tutong on Sunday could serve as a "starting point" for the district to be further developed as a "destination" attracting not just local visitors, but also international ones.
Tutong District Officer Wardi Hj Mohd Ali, co-chairperson of the regatta said that the overwhelming response not just from the participants, but also from the public demonstrated the district's potential to cater to a large number of visitors with various activities especially in Pekan Tutong.
"Aside from demonstrating that the district was also able to host water games at Sungai Tutong, the events held along the Tutong Waterfront also attracted visitors from morning until the afternoon," he said.
"Personally, I am quite happy to have seen such a response; and not just that, we also received a large number of applicants and we had to hold a screening (saringan) round to determine who would be racing on the day of the regatta," he added.
The Tutong District Officer said that a total of 29 teams, 21 speedboats and 13 jetski racers were selected to race and Wardi said that it was an enjoyable sight to see visitors cheering for the competitors.
Sharing his plans, Wardi said that more activities could be held to further develop the district, especially Pekan Tutong.
The bazaar and the markets, he said, could be organised at the end of every month and boat-paddling activities as well as boat cruises could be held, taking into account the wonderful landscape along Sungai Tutong.
"Besides, sports activities such as cycling and running could also be held regularly, centering on Pekan Tutong. People from other districts can also join them," said Wardi.
Speaking of the regatta, Wardi said that among the aims of the event was to foster the spirit of unity among participants, and this could be seen in the way they paddled their boats towards the finish line.
"It does not matter if you lose the race, the most important thing is the "togetherness" you have displayed as you paddled towards the finish line; and I am also quite happy with the enthusiasm and teamwork they displayed," said Wardi.
The regatta which was held after more than a decade was meant to be a continuous effort and serve as a platform for Tutong to develop its water sports, besides enhancing the liveliness of the town, said Wardi.
"Perhaps events such as these could be held not just in the context of national celebrations, but among students and the village communities in the district," he said.
"And hopefully, with the success of the regatta, we will be able to move towards our aspiration of making Tutong a "destination" district," he added.