Black horses Coast Dominators yet again displayed a spirited performance that pushed reigning title-holders Tropical Titans to the second position at the eighth race of Champions Boat League Season-3 (CBL-3) in Karuvatta today, lending a see-saw profile to the IPL-model water festival that has four more legs to go.
The reigning champions had in the previous race at Kainakary managed a comeback by defeating Coast Dominators in their homeland, after having suffered a shock hat-trick from the closest rivals. This evening, though, tough competition from Coast Dominators disabled Tropical Titans from carrying forward the momentum. Amid loud spectator applause, Coast Dominators (owned by UBC Kainakary Club, rowing Nadubhagom Chundan) finished first with a timing of 4:19.60, while Tropical Titans (rowing the Veeyapuram snake-boat owned by Pallathuruthy Boat Club) came second (4:20.85).
At the third were Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club on Mahadevikadu Kattil Thekethil) at 4:23.19. The CBL is being organized by Kerala Tourism with a view to revitalize the spirit of boat-races in the state by co-opting select traditional water festivals into the 12-leg league.
Mighty Oars ended fourth among the nine snake-boats.
In the finals, Tropical Titans were ahead by a few inches, but the last 200 metres saw Coast Dominators making a surge, to which the reigning champions had no reply. The results mean that the remaining four results of CBL-3 can go any which way, generating immense suspense among boat-race buffs.
To finish fifth today were Ripple Breakers (Punnamada Boat Club on Karichal), followed by Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club on Ayaparambu Pandi). Backwater Kings (Niranam Boat Club on St Pius Tenth) came seventh, while Backwater Warriors (Kumarakom Town Boat Club on Champakulam Chundan) finished eighth. To finish last were Thunder Oars (KBC & FBC on Payipadan Chundan).
Overall, Tropical Titans lead with 76 points, just one digit ahead of Coast Dominators (75). Mighty Oars are third in the rankings with 58 points.
Shri A.M. Ariff, MP, inaugurated the races at the ceremony, which was presided over by Karuvatta Panchayat President Shri S. Suresh. Others at the function included civic body councillors, Kerala Tourism officials and top functionaries of CBL-3.
The next (ninth) race will be held on November 18 (Kayamkulam, Alappuzha), after a three-week break. The tenth race will be on November 25 at Kallada (Kollam district) followed by one at Pandanad (near Chengannur in Alappuzha) on December 2. The final of CBL-3 will be on December 9 at Kollam, coinciding 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.