Benak in BERNAMA

Taming the Benak

Mr. Rudy of BERNAMA picked up the news of the Pesta Benak and wrote a special article on Antony Colas, the first man (and Frenchman) to surf the Batang Lupar Tidal Bore also known as Benak. More of his exploits can be read in my previous blog at Malaysia Day Surf. The Sunday Star put the picture of Antony Colas surfing on the front page of both local and nationwide cover of their Sunday Edition under the title Dare to Surf in Sarawak's Batang Lupar?

Antony Colas picture taken by Rozlan @ Alek surfing the Benak in Oct 2009 appearing in the front page of The Star 2nd May 2010 Edition

Rozlan @ Alek wearing red cap took Antony Cola's picture with that powerful camera around his neck

Credit goes to Rozlan @ Alek of the Sri Aman Resident Office who rode with the Drainage and Irrigation Department Boat to capture that shot and allowed the picture so that Antony Colas' adventure may be shared with the world. I had not bought a DSLR Camera yet at that time but now all will know what inspired me to get my Nikon D5000.

It is interesting to note that the word Benak, including Pesta Benak is making the headlines as this natural occurrence is indeed an awesome sight. It can surprise you at times if you do not know where and how high it will rise along the length of the Batang Lupar river. Before Antony Colas decided to surf the benak he picked out the various points where the benak's wave will be the strongest along Batang Lupar and also where crocodiles (and their size) can be spotted just in case. In the pictures below one will see how high and fast the waves can go.

The trick is to go to the deeper part of the Batang Lupar River. This boat was at the wrong place when the benak's first wave made its grand entry into Sri Aman Town. The big wave caused the boat to rise and sway dangerously as it suddenly appeared out of nowhere..

The waves that followed behind is also quite high. In the above picture, that is just one third of the total height a benak can go at Batang Lupar, but its looks as if it is enough to swallow this boat

Looking at the smoke emitted from the boat it shows that the boat's engine is kicking and revving to survive the powerful waves, making sure that the boat does not swing parallel to the waves or else it will capsize.

Benak Drift: the wave races with a white bird flying along the river bank

The benak picks up speed and realizing this bird goes into turbo mode,

The benak almost catch up with the bird and the water splashes a pretty pattern like its trying to catch the bird

The water finally overtakes the bird

And SPLASH!...the benak seems to be jubilant in winning the race with the white speeding ticket needed here.

Trying to share the benak story in these few pictures is too small for one's imagination. Seeing is believing and soon I believe that the benak will be attracting people from all over Sarawak or better outside Sarawak in the next year's upcoming Benak Festival. This year's Pesta Benak 2010 has been a success in many ways and all Sri Amanians should be proud of their benak for it is set to be the Town's star attraction, especially with the completion of the Benak Panorama Park. Benak watching is made pleasant experience with the park's infrastructure in place. More action on Pesta Benak 2010 to come soon so stay tuned to Nadai Nama Nama.


I wish one day i can witness the wave by myself.