Now an expected feature of every Independence Day celebration, boat racing once again drew in a good crowd on Sunday to Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge.

The day was nearly perfect, sunny with cool breeze and calm sea and lots of boats of different sizes and horse powers to give spectators a thrilling show.

Ngermechiuch channel was lined with packed boats filled with spectators who wanted front row seats for the race.

With 13 different categories, ranging from 0-35 horse power category, to utility boats to superfast jet boats, the crowd had enough variety to keep them at the bridge until dusk for the final category.

The event had unique features this year which included a US military planes fly-by at the beginning of the ceremony.

Moreover, the opening ceremony was led by ocean parade of traditional canoes and the Okeanos Palau, giving the event depth and color.

The very visible presence of police both on land and in the water portraying readiness and security could not be missed.  Also the presence of United States Coast Guard added heightened sense of security as well as color to the event.

Enjoyment was not restricted to those present at the bridge as it was also broadcasted on live radio as well as live streaming on the internet. Palauans across the globe joined in to watch the boat race and celebrate their Independence Day via internet live. (By L.N. Reklai)