A scene at the New Year Sea Sports

Started by the European community in 1834, the New Year Sea Sports was also known as the Annual Regatta. The Regatta usually started with a parade of the vessels, both European and local in origin. These vessels would then compete in sailing races, organised into two separate European and local leagues. Other interesting items of the event include ‘kolek’-racing (small boat racing), tub racing, the greasy beam event, yacht racing and many more. The events attracted many Malays from the surrounding islands to take part and the British usually had private celebrations following the race.The New Year Regatta was an important and highly-regarded race. Past guests-of honour include Abu Bakar, the Maharajah of Johor, and Sir Thomas Braddell, Attorney-General of the Straits Settlements.