The penultimate race of Champions Boat League Season-3 (CBL-3) today saw title-holders Tropical Titans scoring their third back-to-back win, and the photo-finish result brightened the prospect of an even more exciting finale of the 12-leg event next weekend.
At Pandanad this evening, Black horses Coast Dominators gave a spirited competition to Tropical Titans (on Veeyapuram snake-boat owned by Pallathuruthy Boat Club), who finished first with a timing of 3:36.18. Coast Dominators, rowing Nadubhagom Chundan owned by UBC Kainakary Club, came second with 3:36.32, just 14 microseconds behind their arch-rival.
Emerging third were Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club on Mahadevikadu Kattil Thekethil) with a timing of 3.38:03. The water festival with nine snake-boats, modelled on IPL cricket, is being organized by Kerala Tourism.
The races, held near Chengannur of this district, saw incredible drama in the final race along the track on the Pampa river. While all the three teams surged ahead at identical speed initially, Raging Rowers enjoyed a lead at one stage. At this, Coast Dominators, sensing the threat, began rowing with surplus energy, catching up with Tropical Titans. None among the cheering spectators was sure of the eventual victor, until the official results were announced.
Tropical Titans had finished first at the last two races in Kallada (November 25) and Kayamkulam (November 18) of CBL-3.
Ahead of the finals at Kollam next Saturday, Tropical Titans top the points list, with 106. Coast Dominators have 102 points; Raging Rowers are placed third with 80 points.
Coming fourth this evening were Mighty Oars (NCDC rowing Niranam Chundan), followed by Ripple Breakers (Punnamada Boat Club on Karichal). Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club on Ayaparambu Pandi) came sixth, while Backwater Kings (Niranam Boat Club on St Pius) finished seventh. Thunder Oars (KBC &FBC on Payipadan Chundan) came eighth and Backwater Warriors (Kumarakom Town Boat Club on Champakulam Chundan) finished last.
The Pandanad races were inaugurated by Goa Governor P.S. Sridharan Pillai. The function was presided by Culture and Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian. Present at the ceremony were members of civic bodies, Tourism Department officials and top functionaries of the CBL.
The December 9 final at Kollam will coincide with the famed President’s Trophy. Tropical Titans have been CBL champions in both the previous editions (2019 and ’22).CBL Season-3 began on August 12 at Alappuzha, with the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race.