Luang Prabang Boat Racing Leaves Controversy in Wake

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Vientaine longboat team(right) and Xayaboury longboat team(left).

A controversial decision has marred the Boat Racing Festival held in Luang Prabang over the weekend, with the Mayor of Luang Prabang questioning his counterparts in Vientiane and Xayaboury.

A notice issued by the mayor of Luang Prabang on Monday requests cooperation from the Deputy Governors of Xayaboury and Luang Prabang provinces, as well as the Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Capital, in investigating the incident.

Prior to the winning final race, the Lao Development Bank boat team was scheduled to compete with Vientiane Capital, however, the bank’s team withdrew due to technical difficulties.

Meanwhile, the Xayaboury longboat team, which had already been defeated by Vientiane Capital, was moved up to the final round.

According to a video posted on social media, the Xayaboury boat team made a false start, however, when the event was restarted, it was the Vientiane team’s turn to make a false start.

Despite technical difficulties, the Vientiane boat continued to the end of the course and was declared the winner of the competition, leaving many to specualte as to how the decision was reached.

A trophy and LAK 17,000,00 in cash were awarded to the Vientiane Capital longboat team, while the Xayaboury team received a trophy and LAK 16,000,000 in cash as a second-place prize.