Tropical Titans reinforce consistency at Race 7 at Kottappuram; increase CBL points lead
The first venue where Champions Boat League (CBL) was hosted consecutively reinforced the winning skills of Tropical Titans, who finished first yet again at Kottappuram backwaters today and remained atop the table with an emphatic total of 98 points after the seventh round.
The finals at the 900-metre track near the historical Kodungallur turned out to be a thriller this evening when it ended in a photo-finish for the second and third winners, behind Tropical Titans (3:30.42). It required camera’s assistance for the judges to declare Backwater Knights the runner-up (3:40.01) and Mighty Oars third (3:41.13). A surprising element in today’s race was that there was just a difference of milliseconds from the second to the sixth positions.
Last Saturday too, Tropical Titans were the victors at Muziris Heritage Waterfront here, while Raging Rowers and Backwater Knights finished second and third amid a drizzle. The pioneering three-month CBL, modelled on IPL cricket, is being organised by Kerala Tourism.
In today’s race, Tropical Titans performed still better in the heats, clocking 3:17.64 to win the ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day’ and earn five extra points. The team (98 points) thus remains atop the overall table, while sharing the second position with 47 points are Raging Rowers and Mighty Oars. In such a situation, CBL rule doesn’t give the following team a third position. In the fourth slot is Coast Dominators (42).
Pride Chasers and Backwater Knights share the fifth position with 34 points each. In the seventh rank is Backwater Warriors (21), followed by Thunder Oars (19) and Backwater Ninjas (14).
The day’s topper secured Rs 5 lakh, followed by Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh for the second and third finishers. 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 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for the second and third prize winners.
The prizes for the day were given away by Kerala Finance Minister Dr. T M Thomas Isaac, Kodungallur MLA V R Sunilkumar, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, Aju Mathan, VP, HDFC Bank, and Joby Joseph Payapalli of Nerolac Paints.
The event, with nine teams, began on August 31 at Alappuzha and is slated to conclude at Kollam on November 23.
Adding to the excitement of Kottapuram-2 near Kodungallur in this district were the spirited performances at the post-heat races. The losers’ finals saw Raging Rowers clock 3:41.76, just microseconds ahead of Coast Dominators (3:41.84) and Pride Chasers (3:41.85). Close finishes were the highlight of the second losers’ finals as well.
Unlike the last round here on October 12, the races today were devoid of rule violations and resultant penalties. That evening had seen Coast Dominators boycotting the loser’s final after judges penalized them with an addition of five points to their score for making an error in the heats.
At last week’s round here, which was also attended by a massive crowd that enabled the overall spectator total to cross the 10-lakh mark halfway the CBL, also had a black mark in the final race. That was when Backwater Knights, who came a surprise second in that evening’s final amid a drizzle, were subsequently declared third following a track violation that prompted judges to impose an additional five seconds on the team. Thus, Raging Rowers (3:47.56) were officially declared the runner-up of that race.
Overall, Tropical Titans continue their domination winners, having emerged first in the first four legs of the pioneering championship, and then again in the sixth round here last weekend. At Kochi that hosted the fourth leg on leg on October 5, Coast Dominators had emerged victors.
The second race at Kottappuram also had its share of cultural programmes like last week. A dance production ‘Ente Keralam’ by artistes from Kalamandalam was the highlight, which also featured the ritualistic Theyyam art and Arabic dance from Malabar.
The schedule goes thus from now: 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).
Earlier this month, the fifth leg of the ongoing CBL was held in Kochi (Marine Drive, Ernakulam), before Piravom (September 28), Karuvatta (Sep 14), Thazhathangadi (Kottayam, Sep 7) and Alappuzha (Punnamada, Aug 31).
The races were broadcast live as usual. Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Asianet Worldwide, Asianet Plus, Hotstar, ETV Andhra Pradesh and ETV Telangana will continue to beam the future CBL rounds on weekends for an hour from 4 pm.
The CBL (www.championsboatleague.in), billed as a game-changing initiative, 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.