Longboat racing is a national sport in Thailand. It is said to date back at least to the time of Ekahotsarot, king of Ayutthaya in the early 17th century, who used the regimen to train his soldiers as oarsmen for boats used in battle. The Abbé de Choisy, a Catholic priest who was a member of the delegation sent to Siam by Louis XIV of France in 1685, wrote of witnessing a race held by Narai the Great, king of Ayutthaya at the time.