Local teams on the podium at Pattaya Longboat Races

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Pattaya and Chonburi squads took two of the three top places in 55-rower category at the 2015 Pattaya Long Boat Races at Lake Mabprachan last month.

The Praduthong team of Chonburi took home 50,000 baht for finishing second in the main race at the annual longboat festival held Nov. 21-22 in Banglamung’s Pong Sub-district.  Pattaya’s Pradu Gnuen team took third to win 30,000 baht while Suriya Kratingdaeng from Surin province placed fourth.

Beating out all those teams was Panya P Namchok of Pathum Thani, taking home 100,000 baht and the HRH Princess Soamsawalee trophy.

Wittaya Khunplume (rear centre), mayor of Chonburi, was the guest of honor to present trophies to the winning teams.

Former Culture Minister Sonthaya Khunplume opened the celebration of traditional sport and culture along with top regional officials.  In addition to six long-tail boat races, the festival also featured a dirt bike competition, judging for the best looking and best-built longboats, buffalo racing and school drum corps competitions.

Nongprue Sub-district Secretary Torawit Thongnak said longboat racing has been around since the Ayutthaya Era and is a perennial favorite among locals all around the Eastern Seaboard.

Mabprachan Lake in Pattaya was the scenic venue for the annual Pattaya Longboat Races, held from November 21-22.

Trophies were awarded in six categories: Large boats (55 paddlers), long-tail boats (30 paddlers), large boats types A and B, small boats type B and international boats (12 paddlers).

In the other highlight race, with 33 rowers, the Jaow Mai Song Nang team from Samut Prakan won the 50,000-baht first prize trophy.  Second place went to Kratingdaeng Petchnawa, winning 30,000 baht, and third was won by Mae Kohn Eaknawa from Nakhon Pathom, winning 20,000 baht.  Thepkajornkhun from Ratchaburi placed fourth.

Rowers battle their way to the finishing line, hoping to win the grand prize.

In the school-band contest, Nongmaikaen School from Chachoengsao won the 12,000-baht first prize while Srisuwit School of Banglamung won 10,000 baht for second place.  Pattaya School No. 6 won 8,000 baht in third and School No. 8 placed fourth.

The dirt bike race was not official, but attracted riders ranging from 13 through 40 years old.  The bikes ranged from modified four-stroke scooters to professional factory-made dirt bikes.

Competitors look on from the shore as teams battle it out in the 55-rowers category.

Children take part in the school drum corps contest.