Tuesday, November 7, 2006
By Lor Chandara
THE CAMBODIA DAILY
The 2006 Water Festival wrapped up Monday night with trophies presented by King Norodom Sihamoni to the fastest and most beautiful boats in the regatta.
Twenty-one of Cambodia's 24 provinces and municipalities competed in the three days of racing during which 409 racing boats entered the competition.
The fastest boat, clocking 26 minutes, 29 seconds in three races that started at the Japanese Friendship Bridge and ended in front of the Royal Palace, was the Odong Meachey Baromei Vang Chas boat from Kompong Speu province's Odong district.
In second place at 26:33 was the Kirivong Sok Senchey boat from Kirivong district in Takeo province.
The third fastest boat with 26:46 minutes was the Akthireach Chakraphup Raingsey boat from Kompong Thom province.
Three boats received awards for the best decorations: the Samrek Reachsei Baromei Tamol Leou from Kompong Chhnang province, the Preahnet Tip from Kandal province, and the Koh Keo Sen Dekchas from Preah Vihear province.
Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Thong Khon said that last year's Greater Mekong Subregion race, which featured boats from the region and in which Thailand narrowly beat Cambodia in a dramatic final, was not repeated this year.
"That was a one-time special event," he said.
Initial government estimates indicate that more tourists from Europe attended this year's festival, but exact numbers of arrivals were not available Monday.