Location : Kota Palangkaraya, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia.
The sleepy 600+ km long Kahayan River came alive as the regatta started below the Kahayan bridge.
The beautiful tribal mural of the Kahayan bridge
The morning event started with the men /women longboat racing finishing right below the bridge where thousands of spectators cheered for their teams. The highlight for the morning was the ‘row of war’ where 2 teams of 2 paddlers each battle it out in 2 rigidly connected boats.
2 boats attached and brought to the arena
Each team rowed in opposite direction as to pull the other across just like ‘tug of war’ with a rope. Very interesting and never seen elsewhere. The strong current could be quite a nuisance at times for the paddlers and officials. Meanwhile, as the tiring competition was underway, a gentler competition was brewing along the banks of the river as last minute decorations were carried out on big fishing boats for the afternoon’s river parade. Watch out for it!
Spectators watching from under the Kahayan bridge
Tribal motifs such as this decorate every corner of Kalimantan