For centuries, boat racing could be considered part of Vietnam’s rich culture. It is because it isn’t only a contest but also a kind of ritual to honor the Water God, which roots from the act of praying for water done by many agricultural-based people. In history, there are only two types of traditional boats in the competition: a male boat having the image of the bird in its head and the female boat decorated with an image of a fish. These two images symbolize the so-called yin-yang harmony (yang – in the sky; yin – in the water). Today, boat racing is an important part of the many festivals from North to South of Vietnam, including Nha Trang. For the fishermen, sail boat racing in Nha Trang conveys their wishes and prayers for a bountiful catch.
With the emerging tourism in Nha Trang, more and more people are eyeing this wonderful place for its many land attractions, not to mention its excellent quality of deepwater bays. At present, boat racing isn’t only a simple part of Vietnam culture as it has gone beyond a traditional event to become a captivating sports activity. Moreover, it has begun to attract a growing number of participants. Sail boat racing in Nha Trang has turned out an event to compete and show collective strength.
The Khanh Hoa province boasts a 60-mile coastline, encompassing 70 islands with constant afternoon breezes, clean calm waters and welcoming locals. As such, it has been an ideal place for the yacht crews. Nha Trang is considered Vietnam’s top beach resort town and the perfect location and geography offer clear skies and suitable weather conditions from May to September. As such, it’s a no-brainer that this beach town became the home of the VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, a huge biennial yacht racing event covering 656 nautical miles, which makes it the longest race event in Asia under Category One.
With the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club as the main organizer, sponsored by Saigon Tourist Travel Service and Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel, this race is a four-day event with Nha Trang city as the finish line. The VinaCapital Hong Kong to Vietnam Yacht Race started in 1996 but was stopped and came back in 2004. It is part of the famous China Coast Race Week and is considered a qualifying competition for the prestigious Rolex Sydney to Hobart, a big sporting event in Australia. It is also widely known as one of the toughest yacht races in the world.
Because of this international event, sail boat racing in Nha Trang has become one of the most popular sport activities in the beach resort town. With the city’s lovely beaches and friendly locals, Nha Trang would be able to be part of the sailing circuit linking Phuket of Thailand and Bali of Indonesia. But because yacht racing is quite new in Nha Trang, yachtsmen find it hard to look for a marina to anchor boats. Fortunately, a new marina is planned in Pbu Quy, which will be the country’s first waterfront living community in Nha Trang. According to the developer, a one-kilometer pier system will be constructed for yachts and mooring boats. Soon, Nha Trang with the marina at Phu Quy is expected to be a modern and luxurious destination for marine eco-tourism in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.