KUCHING: Police team Camar is the undisputed rafting kings after winning their third consecutive Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari recently despite a mishap.
In the first leg from Rumah Ragai, Sungai Gaat, to Rumah Sengkuai on the Baleh River, the teams raft hit a rock in choppy waters and overturned.
However, the team members successfully righted the raft to continue racing, eventually finishing the leg ahead of the eight other teams in the mens open category.
Camar, from state police headquarters in Kuching, maintained their lead in the final leg to the Kapit wharf the following day and crossed the line in a time of 10hrs 1min 8sec, more than 25 minutes in front of the second-placed raft, to win the top prize of RM2,000.
They also took home the Dato Sri Dr James Masing challenge trophy for claiming a third victory in the safari, an annual event on Sarawaks tourism calendar.
The Kapit Agriculture Club came in second while Gemilang, also from the state police contingent, took third spot. Another state police team, Penyengat, emerged victorious in a tight race with the Kapit police team in the mens closed category, with the winning margin just slightly over a minute.
The mens freestyle category was won by local Kapit team Usun United 2 while JKKK Batu Bansu took the top honours in the womens open race.
In the tourism category, one team comprised local and foreign paddlers including Irishman David Conlisk, Jenny Svanberg, David Morris and Kate Lee from Britain and Sona Mcleod from the United States.
Calling themselves Team T-REX, they finished third behind travel agent team Greatown Travel Sdn Bhd and a team from the state Urban Development and Tourism Ministry.
The best decorated raft award went to Faber Medi-Serve Kapit 1, which competed in the womens open category.