Penang’s bid to host the 6th Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) in 2008 was approved at the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Congress on 5 August 2005 in Berlin, Germany. The stage is set for the “Pearl of the Orient” to host the biggest dragon boat racing event ever staged in South-East Asia.
Following a detailed presentation, Penang received unanimous approval from the IDBF congress to host the event. PIDBF organising committee chairman, The Honourable Mr. Lai Chew Hock said he believed the decision was based primarily on Penang’s proven 26-year track record of successfully organising international dragon boat events and its unique tourism hospitality package.
“Our bid was also firmly supported by Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, the Penang State Executive Council, Tourism Malaysia, the Penang Tourism Action Council, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) and the Penang Municipal Council,” he added.
The PIDBF delegation which secured the approval in Berlin was led personally by Mr. Lai, the State Assemblyman for the Bukit Tambun, constituency, and vice-chairman Dato’ Ir. Liew Chook San, who also serves as the general manager of PBAPP.
The PIDBF is a founding member of the IDBF, the established international organisation for the promotion of dragon boat racing worldwide. Since 1996, the IDBF has held four CCWCs (one every two years) at Vancouver (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand), Rome (Italy) and Cape Town (South Africa). The next CCWC will be staged in Toronto (Canada) in 2006. “The 6th CCWC in Penang in 2008 will be the first to be hosted in Asia. Our mission is to make it the biggest and the best CCWC ever, by attracting as many Asian club crews as possible to participate against club crews from the Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas,” he added.
Having won the bid, Y.B. Lai said, the PIDBF would focus on implementing a plan to further enhance and expand the international boat racing facilities at the Teluk Bahang Dam which is managed by PBAPP.
“There is much to be done. We will work closely the State and Federal Governments, Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian Association of Travel Trade Associations, local hotels and other organisations on logistics and sponsorship,” he said. At the same time, Y.B. Lai said, the PIDBF also needed to promote the 6th CCWC amongst all IDBF members to secure as much participation from as many international crews as possible in 2008.
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