Alappuzha, Sep 1: Pallathuruthy Boat Club, Alappuzha, won the 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race and topped the first round of the Champions Boat League (CBL) here today, as the pioneering three-month sporting event got off to a racy start in the sprawling Punnamada Lake here, on Saturday evening.
Today’s winner, whose CBL name is Tropical Titans, earned nine points, clocking 4.25.83 minutes to cover the distance of 1,050 metres. Tropical Titans were followed by Coast Dominators (United Boat Club, Kainakary: 4.28.40) and Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club) 4.29.84, securing eight and seven points, respectively.
Mighty Oars (NCDC, Kumarakom) finished fourth with 4:30:28, having made it to the final CBL heats of the inaugural round. Being organised by Kerala Tourism, the CBL, with nine teams, features 12 rounds of races slated across Saturdays till November 23. The boat league was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Earlier, Tropical Titans finished first in the first CBL heat. The second heat saw Mighty Oars and NCDC winning, while the last heats saw Police Boat Club emerging first. The five other CBL teams are Backwater Warriors (Kumarakom Town Boat Club), Punnamada Boat Club, Backwater Knights (Village Boat Club), Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club) and Thunder Oars (KBC/SFBC). The next leg is at Thazhathangadi near Kottayam on September 7.
The boat league’s inauguration in the afternoon was marked by water adventure sports like jet skiing flyboard and paragliding. Select ten TV channels beamed the heats live an hour from 4 pm. The CBL was originally slated to begin on August 10, but got rescheduled owing to heavy rains that wreaked havoc across the state. Billed as a game-changing initiative, the CBL (www.championsboatleague.in) seeks to professionalise Kerala’s largely scattered snake-boat races, while commercialising them without losing the conventional spirit.
Tickets can be booked online through ‘Book my Show’ platform. Among the outlets that facilitate spot purchase of tickets are the District Tourism Office in Kumarakom North and District Tourism Promotion Council at Kodimatha (both around Kottayam, operational till September 7).
The schedule goes thus after the September 7 stage: September 14 (Karuvatta, Alappuzha), September 28 (Piravam, Ernakulam district), October 5 (Marine Drive, Kochi), October 12 (Kottappuram, Thrissur district), October 19 (Ponnani, Malappuram), October 26 (Kainakari, Alappuzha), November 2 (Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha district), November 9 (Kayamkulam, Alappuzha), November 16 (Kallada, Kollam district) and November 23 (President’s Trophy Boat Race, Kollam). (UNI)