Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district.
“With a total length of 87.3m, Union of Youth Federation of Cambodia [UYFC] and Prey Veng administration . . . you are the new Guinness record holders for the longest dragon boat in the world,” Patel announced during a recognition ceremony attended by a number of government officials.
Patel said the record beats the previous one of May 2016, which was won by a 77.8-metre Chinese dragon boat.
Prey Veng governor Chea Somethy said the 87.3-metre-long, 1.94-metre-wide boat can accommodate 179 rowers. It was decorated with a dragon’s head on its bow and a swan’s tail at its stern.
He said 14,000 people had helped finance the construction of the boat since April. It cost $60,000 and was completed in September.
“This record-breaking feat reflects the unity and ability of Cambodians to cooperate under the slogan Khmer Unified, Khmer Wins, which is the pride of the nation,” he said.
Sar Sokha, a lawmaker and the president of UYFC for Prey Veng province, said the boat was named Kambojika Putta Khemara Tarei, which translates as “Dragon Boat of Khmer Youth in Cambodian Territory”.
He said the 179 rowers symbolised the day when the Kingdom was liberated from the Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979.
Sar Sokha told The Post that the boat’s construction was aimed at reminding Cambodians of the period of the Kingdom’s history when Khmer kings used dragon boats to defend their empire.
It was also intended to highlight Cambodian expertise to the world and to push nationalism among the younger generation.
He said that being a Guinness world record holder would attract more tourists to Cambodia and help the country’s economy.
To date, the Kingdom has set five Guinness world records. The others include the world’s largest sticky rice cake, weighing 4.04 tonnes, and the world’s largest Madison dance, in which 2,015 people took part.
Cambodia has also held the world’s largest practical business seminar, involving 2,304 participants, and produced the world’s longest handwoven scarf, at 1,149.8 metres long and 88 centimetres wide.