Alappuzha, Oct 27 : Last-lap dramatics marked the return of the Champions Boat League (CBL) to southern Kerala as Tropical Titans scored a second hat-trick in the pioneering event to widen their lead in the points table amid a flurry of spirited races on the Kainakary backwaters of this district.
Local favourites Coast Dominators finished a tearful third, narrowly behind Mighty Oars who became the Saturday evening’s runner-up.
While the victors timed 4:07.21 minutes in the final amid a drizzle, the second and third teams clocked 4:13.21 and 4:16.04, respectively.
The eighth of the 12-round league, modelled by Kerala Tourism on the lines of IPL cricket, conjured up photo-finish moments yet again. The second and third teams were decided in a time range of less than three seconds along the one-km stretch.
As two-thirds of the CBL rounds got over today, Tropical Titans stand atop the overall tally with a total of 113 points, followed by Raging Rowers (55) and Mighty Oars (52).
Tropical Titans had won the previous two rounds (on October 19 and 12) at Kottappuram in Thrissur district, after suffering a break to their victory streak on October 5. In that leg at Kochi, the surprise winners were Coast Dominators, who today finished third with an overall total of 49 points.
Kainakary in watery Kuttanad taluk, while turning out to be the first venue after the CBL had its three rounds up the state midway the three-month league, saw its heats as well, springing up stiff competition among the nine snake-boats. With the quickest timing of 4:00.93, Tropical Titans won the ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day’ and earned five extra points. The team has won all but one of the eight CBL rounds so far.