Champions Boat League: Tropical Titans hit hatrick
The Champions Boat League (CBL) saw its competitive spirit soaring today with fraction of seconds proving critical in races, even as Tropical Titans continued their winning spree by finishing first in the third consecutive round of the pioneering water race modelled on IPL cricket.
The victors timed 4:12.11 in the day’s final race to remain atop the CBL rankings, inches ahead of Coast Dominators (4:12.90) and Mighty Oars (4:13.80) who emerged second and third respectively along the one-km track.
Tropical Titans were declared ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day”, and earned five extra points with the best timing of 3:56.00 in the league that has a total of nine teams vying for honours.
The Kerala Tourism-organised CBL is a three-month championship with its 12 rounds being held on weekends coinciding with Kerala’s traditional water festivals. Today’s was the famed Karuvatta Boat Race, along the scenic Leading Channel (locally, Puthanar river) 25 km south of this coastal city.
At the end of the CBL’S third round, Tropical Titans muster 40 points, followed by Coast Dominators and Mighty Oars (21 points each) and Pride Chasers (20).
Today’s finals effectively turned out to be a repeat of the afternoon’s first heats, while Raging Rowers finished fourth (4:15.72) by topping the second losers’ final. Pride Chasers (4:15.83) finished fifth and Backwater Warriors (4:25.07) sixth.
In the losers’ final, Backwater Knights (4:30.68) finished first, thus making it to the seventh position. Thunder Oars (4:32.39) now stand eight and Backwater Ninjas (4:43.87) ninth.
Today’s topper Tropical Titans secured Rs 5 lakh, followed by Rs 3 lakh (Coast Dominators) and Rs 1 lakh (Mighty Oars) for finishing second and third respectively. All participating teams are entitled to Rs 4 lakh per match.
The overall winner of the championships is entitled to Rs 25 lakh, followed by Rs 12 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for the second and third prize winners.
Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran gave away the prizes for the CBL third round, which was inaugurated by Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly. Also present were Alappuzha MP A M Arif and Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran.
Tropical Titans (traditionally Pallathuruthi Boat Club, rowing the Nadubhagom snakeboat) had won the first round of the CBL on August 31, also finishing first in the 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race held that evening at Alappuzha’s sprawling Punnamada Lake here. They repeated the show on September 7 at the Thazhathangadi Boat Race in Kottayam, where Mighty Oars and Pride Chasers had finished second and third in a photo finish.
The races are being routinely broadcast live, and will continue to be so during the rest of the legs. Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Asianet Worldwide, Asianet Plus, Hotstar, ETV Andhra Pradesh and ETV Telangana will beam the event for an hour from 4 pm.
The next leg is a fortnight away — on September 28 at Piravam in Ernakulam district.
The CBL, 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, besides 20 outlets that facilitate spot purchase of tickets. The prices range from Rs 200 to 2,000.
The schedule goes thus after the September 28 stage: 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 (Kollam, President’s Trophy Boat Race).