|Cheerful audience on a boat. — VNS Photo Hoàng Hải|Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Huế held a boat race on Wednesday on Hương (Perfume) River as an annual tradition.
But this year’s race was one day behind schedule due to the ongoing biennial Huế Festival.
Nine boat teams from Huế and its outskirt districts, including Phong Điền, Quảng Điền and Phú Vang, competed on the 300m stretch of the river running through the city’s centre. There were two separate tournaments designated for male and female athletes.
Each boat was manually sailed by 10 crew members and one skipper, all of whom were fishermen and farmers, and had to make two return laps by crossing the river and three along the river.
A total of 200 athletes competed in the race. According to the organisers, the boat race is a post-harvest tradition.
During the imperial rule of the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945), boat races were held in the localities with rivers around Huế to test the boats for fishing as well as for combating the fierce floods in the rainy season.
Phan Tiến Dũng, director of the local Department of Culture and Sports, said boat races were continued till date to maintain the tradition and encourage the young generation to train their bodies.
Boats in the past were made of wood, bamboo and rattan, which required craftsmanship. But today, boats are made of timber in the same frame while the boat’s belly is replaced by aluminum panels.
The boat race added a sporty activity to the Huế Festival 2018, which started from April 27 and includes shows by local and international art troupes. — VNS
|Boats at the race. — VNS Photo Hoàng Hải|