KOTA KINABALU: Four water scooter enthusiasts rode their way into the records by completing a 2,411km journey from Pulau Langkawi to the state capital here.
The four men, Alex Chai, Simon Low, both 35, Rosli Bagat and Nazar Omar, both 38, arrived at the Sutera Harbour Resort marina at 3.20pm yesterday, 18 days after departing from Langkawi’s Awana Porto Malai Resort.
Calling themselves the Malaysia X2003 team, the four men were escorted at the last leg of their ride from the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Park islands to the marina by a group of Sabah water scooter enthusiasts.
They were greeted at the marina by Sabah Tourism Board chairman Tengku Zainal Adlin and Sutera Harbour chairman Datuk Edward Ong amid the blowing of horns by nearby vessels.
Immediately after their arrival, the team’s manager Bruce Chai dedicated their record setting feat to Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“This is our gift to our beloved Prime Minister before he steps down from office,” he said, adding that Dr Mahathir had inspired the team to believe that they could achieve what they set out to do as part of the Malaysia Boleh spirit.
Bruce said he would be seeking an entry in the Malaysia Book of Records for the furthest distance achieved on a watercraft from the Peninsular to East Malaysia.
After departing Langkawi, the four men rode their water scooters along the coastline to Penang, and then to Lumut, Port Klang, Malacca, Johor Baru before crossing the first stage of the South China Sea to the Indonesian island of Pulau Acastar.
The team then hopped to another Indonesian island, Pulau Muri, before proceeding to Kuching and arriving at the coastal town of Mukah and subsequently Miri and Labuan.They then set off for Kota Kinabalu on a seven-hour journey, the last leg, at 8am.
But even before crossing the finish line, lead rider Chai said he was already considering other feats on jet skis and these would include circumnavigating the large Borneo island.
Chai who owns a logistics and transport company in Miri, said the toughest part of the trek for them was the first stage of crossing the South China Sea when the team encountered waves of up to 3m high.
“But there were some memorable moments. We caught five groupers near Pulau Acastar and barbequed them for dinner,” he said,adding that the team mostly survived on canned food.
Chai said he felt sad after completing the trek because “when I wake up tomorrow, there will be no more jet ski riding for a while.”
“But then everything must come to an end and I am just happy we managed to accomplish what we set out to do,” he said.