The annual Traditional International Standard Boat Racing Championship starts today, with 29 teams battling for provincial superiority and a sizeable cash prize
THE 2009 Traditional International Standard Boat Racing Championship launches on the Takhmao river today, in the annual event organised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Federation of Cambodian Boat Racing. Daily races continue until October 26, with teams allowed a day’s practice for the competition Tuesday.
Boeung Kimtor, deputy director of the Department of Physical Education and Sport at the ministry and boat federation member, told the Post that there are also the competitions in canoeing and kayaking.
Traditional International Standard Boats are divided in two crew size categories, 12 persons and 22 persons, for both men and women. Races are competed over 500 metres and 1,000 metres.
According to Boeung Kimtor, 29 boats will be in s year competitions including seven from Kampong Chhnang, six from Phnom Penh, five from Kandal, five from Prey Veng, three from Battambang, one from Kampot, and Phnom Penh teams Moeun Neak Meanchey and Russei Keo.
Canoeing and Kayaking events feature single and double races, with 22 athletes participating – 10 from Chroy Changvar, 10 from the Navy, two from Kampot province and two from Kandal province.
Boeung Kimtor showed his enthusiasm at the increasing number of boats competing from year to year. He also noted that all boats had come through qualifiers in their regions. “We need the qualify for our national competition,” he said.
This sports official also attempted to clarify the ministry’s policy of cash prizes for winning boats after complaints from large teams last year. “Normally, the champions will get 150,000 riels [US$36] per person. For a boat of 22 persons, we will multiply by 22 [US$794], but not over,” he confirmed.
However, Boeung Kimtor expressed his regret that traditional international standard boat racing will not be included in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, after the two previous tournaments in Thailand and Vietnam had included the event. According to the Cambodian official, hosts Laos have declined to organise races, as they do not have a team to compete.