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Hanoi set to host boat racing festival

Released at: 07:57, 12/02/2019

Hanoi set to host boat racing festival

The Hanoi Dragon Boat Racing Festival 2018. Photo: Bao Anh Viet Nam

Hundreds of local and international professional and amateur rowers to compete on West Lake this weekend.

by Le Diem

The Hanoi Dragon Boat Racing Festival 2019 will take place on February 16 and 17 on the capital’s largest lake, Ho Tay (West Lake).

Organized by the Hanoi People’s Committee and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, the festival aims to preserve the country’s traditional sports and promote the city’s culture and tourism.

It has attracted some 30 teams from 25 delegations at home and abroad. Nearly 500 rowers will compete in 600-meter races in teams of 12.

During the two-day festival, participating teams will be divided into either professional or amateur categories.

Professionals consist of men and women’s international teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, and Hong Kong, and local teams from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Binh Thuan, who will compete on February 16.

Amateurs are split into two groups. One, with teams from different districts in Hanoi, will compete in men’s and women’s teams of 12 in qualifying rounds on February 16 and the final on February 17. The other group, with teams from the Embassy of Sweden and Swedish alumni in Vietnam, the U.S. Alumni Association, the UK Alumni Association, Vietnam Airlines, BIDV Bank, and the West Lake Boat Racing Club will compete in mixed teams of 12 men and women on February 17.

Aside from watching the races, local residents can also enjoy a festive ambience in the new year through artistic performances.

The festival runs from 9 am on February 16 to 4 pm on February 17 and entry is free.

The first Hanoi dragon boat festival was held on West Lake last February, gathering 27 teams with 400 rowers from seven districts in the capital and other cities and provinces. Following its success, the festival was expanded and now welcomes international teams. Scheduled to take place annually, it is expected to create a new playground for people who love boat racing and attract more tourists to Hanoi.

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