Traditional boat racing in Hanoi attracts crowds hinh anh 1Hanoi hosts the boat racing festival for the first time. (Photo: courtesy of Vietnam Airlines)

Hanoi (VNA) – A dragon boat racing festival was held for the first time in Hanoi’s well-known West Lake on February 24, attracting large crowds.

The event brought together 400 athletes from 27 teams of Hanoi’s districts and Hai Duong, Hung Yen and Thai Nguyen provinces.

Thousands of locals and visitors began to gather at the West Lake in the early morning, long before the competition started at 10 am.

The race took place on a distance of 600m from Tran Quoc Pagoda to Ly Tu Trong Park, with men’s, women’s and mixed categories.

In the race for professionals, the Hai Duong team pocketed the gold medals in the men’s and mixed categories while the Hanoi team came first in the women’s category.

 Among the amateur teams, the Chuong My team won in the men’s and mixed categories and the team from Hoang Mai district got the gold in the women’s category.

Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports To Van Dong said Hanoi is striving to build the West Lake to into a key tourism area with the dragon boat racing festival as one of the most attractive activities.
The festival is also part of a cooperation deal between Hanoi People's Committee and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on cultural, tourism and sport development.-VNA