DESARU will see another international event in its tourism calendar this year, with the introduction of the Desaru International Sailing Competition.
Kota Tinggi district officer Datin Paduka Hazlina Jalil said the event would be jointly organised with Pengerang Municipal Council (MPP) and was in the final phase of paperwork.
“We plan to organise the event at the Rakan Muda Water and Air Sports Complex (Kramsau) in Desaru.
“We initially built the facilities for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) sailing competition, and now we plan to organise this international sports event there to make full use of the building,” she said when contacted by StarMetro.
Hazlina said this would be the fourth international sports event in Desaru after the Ironman triathlon, the L’Etape by Tour de France cycling event and the Pengerang International Surfing Competition.
“We wanted to bring more tourism and sports activities to Kota Tinggi so that we can create additional business opportunities for the locals.
“This will also put Kota Tinggi on the global map of major sporting events,” she said, adding that the local response had been positive for all the events organised.
The recent Pengerang International Surfing Competition was held in collaboration with MPP and Johor Surfing Association at Pantai Tiara, Desaru.
“We wanted to take advantage of the high waves during the monsoon season to organise this event.
“With the close cooperation of our local government, associations and rescue agencies, we managed to run this event in a safe and secure manner,” she said.
Meanwhile, MPP president Fizwan Mohd Rashidi said the surfing competition in December last year attracted participants from Singapore and Thailand.
“This is the first time we have organised such a competition, and we hope to get more participants from other countries this year.
“We also organised a beach clean-up during the event to spread awareness about keeping our environment clean,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor Surfing Association president Abu Bakar Abd Manaf said the surfing event was a good way to nurture young local talents who could represent the country in the international arena.
“We kicked off our surfing competition circuit in Johor before going to Pulau Tioman and Pantai Cherating in Pahang.
“After that, we will move to Sabah and Langkawi, Kedah.
“To date, we have around 200 surfing athletes in the country, and this competition will prepare them for the coming World Beach Games 2023 in Bali, Indonesia,” he added.