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Trail blazing 4×4 track into heart of Borneo; 3rd Sarawak 4×4 Jamboree

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 07 September 2018

Sarawak 4×4 Jamboree blazes new track to Kapit, makes a new record.

Three years ago, it was 40 trucks. Last year, 60 trucks. This year, the third edition of the Sarawak Jamboree, there will be 173 off-road vehicles participating.

“It was an overwhelming response compared to the 100 trucks that we had targeted, said Paul Si, the assistant Hon Sec of the Sarawak 4×4 Association (SAKTA) and a committee member of the 3rd Sarawak 4×4 Jamboree.

The 3rd Sarawak Jamboree scheduled for 12-16 September flags off from Sibu and finishes at Kapit in conjunction with Malaysia Day. Kapit was formerly reachable only by river express boats.

“The weather is totally unpredictable,” he said.

“It can be dry and dusty one day and, like in our third recce, there was a humongous rain and thunderstorm in the night.

“Having said that, the soil in the areas we’re passing have stones and chips and we really don’t expect winching except for unfortunate incidents when distracted or fatigued drivers slide off into the longkang,” he said.

Si, a veteran off-roader and Land Rover enthusiast, will not be able to join the event because of domestic issues – his 34 kg Labrador broke a bone — and Alister Tinggang is the new media liaison chief.

Till about two years ago, Kapit was only accessible by river. The cars in Kapit would have been barged in and driven only in Kapit town.

Then the timber tracks were connected, some sections tarred and some still untarred and will be part of the Pan Borneo Highway. The Sibu- Kapit “road” is now a 3 hour to 5 hour track depending on the weather.

For this year’s jamboree however, SAKTA has planned an adventure route that will take the participants to the Iban tribes in Kanowit, Song and Kapit.

Parc ferme at Dataran Sibu 2 for participating vehicles and use Grab thereafter for the night before the event.

After the flag off in Sibu Town Square, the convoy will follow the service road for the high-voltage transmission line. The first night stop will be a bit cushy. For some of the participants, probably the Otais and the senior citizens, they might choose to enjoy the long house which caters for home stays.

Day 2

We will start off on a newly-built tar road to Song. After 10 km, the road reverts to a timber track which is slippery when wet. Plan for 2 hours to 5 hours off-roading to the Rumah Melayu long house. The long house is named after the Tuai Rumah (headman of the long house) and he’s an Iban. For those who want to break out their luxury rooftop tents, there’s also a camp site about 100 metres and 300 steps above the clear-running river.

Day 3

More serious off-roading is expected because we’ll be routed through a timber track which has been abandoned for two year.

Day 4

Since it’s 170-car long convoy, the participants will be strung out over a few kilometres along the track and the tail-end Charlies may still be camping out on Day 4.

Some possible scenarios: We’ll be passing through several tributaries of the Rejang River. Some of the logs on the frontier bridges spanning the small rivers might break after 10 cars and it will be a work-in-progress for the rest of the 160 cars. Expect delays. Otherwise, dress sensibly and enjoy the experience.

The Grand Finale dinner in Kapit shall be held at the Kapit Civic centre on the 16th Sept in conjunction with Malaysia Day. The organisers have arranged local vans to transport all participants to and fro the venue. Due to limited space in Kapit town, all participant vehicles are not allowed to enter the town area as it would cause massive jam. Police traffic would be monitoring for non gazetted car parking.

 

A note from the Camp Manager, Anthony:

I would like to initiate a little Go Green practices for our teams in terms of reducing garbage on this fine adventure.

Don’t bring along disposable cups and one-time use plastics: reduce overall waste.

Do bring along-

  1. Washable container / tupperware /plate
  2. Coffee Mug or Drinking cups
  3. Your own Fork and spoon.