Jong Regatta is identified as the flagship of the Bau District Tourism Activity.
Jong Regatta is a cultural boat racing at Tasik Biru in Bau, a unique sport only in Bau District rebranded as ‘Pesta Regatta Bau’ to lure more foreign tourists. Jong is a miniature sailing boats.
It is a Malay culture which was used to make offerings to the evil spirit in the past. The offering consists of bananas or Pisang Emas, yellow rice (Nasi Kuning), Reteh and eggs placed in the Jong and released in the river after praying. It is believed that the Jong will drive away sickness of a person to the sea, thus be cured.
The Regatta Jong Bau mini-sailboat race is a traditional water sport started way back in 1954 during the time of British rule, however, was disrupted many times for various reasons including the confrontation, communist insurgency and lack of funds, and was once totally forgotten.
It was thought that the Malays around Kuching and along the Sarawak River had always admired the Royalist, a large sailing boat of the First Rajah Brooke and the other British Navy sailing boats anchored in the river in the 19th Century. So they made the model boats out of soft wood, copying the actual design and shape of the sailings boats for decorations and sometimes sailed the Jongs in the lake as past times.
The idea of holding a Jong regatta first started in 1949 by the Colonial District Officer, Mr. A.J.N. Richards. Being an enthusiast of Jongs, he organized the regatta in Tasik Biru.
There are five categories of Jongs: Schooner, Bandong, Kotak, Skuchi and Barong. The miniature sailing boats were released at one end of the lake and letting the wind to blow them across to the other end of the lake to decide the winners.
The lake is an ideal place because it is big enough with shady trees providing the shade under the hot tropical sun. The water is clean and no rock around the lake to hinder the race. There is always a constant breeze from the same one direction.