Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boat numbers down for Water festival races

Boat numbers down for Water festival races

Boat numbers down for Water festival races

091030_20
Boat race teams watch teams compete after finishing their trials for the water festival races Wednesday in front of the Royal palace.

THIS year’s Water Festival will feature 391 boats, according to a report released October 22 by the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals. More than 25,000 crewmembers will race down Phnom Penh’s riverside, including seven teams of women racers.

The total is a decrease of 33 boats from last year’s participation, with the majority coming from neighbouring Kandal province (107 boats), while Kampong Cham boats number 65, Prey Veng are sending 40, Kampong Chhnang and Kratie contribute 36 each, Kampong Thom boast 28, Phnom Penh have 25, Takeo 12, Battambang 5, and other provinces make up the remainder along with some teams from government institutions.

Chea Sokhom, vice president and secretary general of the festival committee, suggested repercussions of Typhoon Ketsana had caused the drop in numbers, as well as fears from participants about swine flu.

The secretary also noted that no boats from neighbouring countries were participating this year. “In the past, through contact with the Ministry of Tourism, our neighbour countries sent their rowers for our traditional ceremony, but not this year,” he stated. “We are happy because, in the past, we didn’t know about the standard of those rowers. We found it difficult to advise them, and they didn’t listen much to us.”

Chea Sokhom showed deep regret about the circumstances surrounding the death of five Singaporeans during the 2007 Water Festival races. “Honestly, we asked them to use lifejackets, but they wanted to do as our experienced rowers,” he said.

However, Min Khin, minister of Culture and Religious Affairs and also chairman of the festival committee, stated Tuesday that the decrease in participants was due to a selection process at provincial level to only allow the best teams to conmpete.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh