Mighty Oars registered a comeback victory at the tenth round of Champions Boat League (CBL-2) today, spoiling spirited efforts by Tropical Titans to score a double hat-trick at the IPL-style water event slated to conclude in a fortnight.
The evening crowd at Kayamkulam in this district saw the reigning champions conceding a narrow lead to Mighty Oars (traditionally NCDC, rowing the Nadubhagam snake-boat), throwing up a photo-finish in the 12-race league. Tropical Titans (Pallathuruthy Boat Club, on Mahadevikad Kattil Thekkethil) timed 5:05.58 minutes in the final here, missing out to Mighty Oars (5:03.46) by 2:12 seconds.
Raging Rowers (Kerala Police Boat Club, Champakulam) came third, clocking 5:-7.24 in the nine-boat tournament being organized by Kerala Tourism.
Mighty Oars won by ensuring they did not repeat the rowing mistakes at the previous races in Kainakary (Alappuzha district), Thazhathangadi (Kottayam) and Pandanad (near Chengannur). At Kayamkulam, the winners gained a comfortable lead in the first 100 metres, but Tropical Titans overtook them halfway the track. Yet, emulating the style of the reigning champions, Mighty Oars mustered all their strength towards the last 50 metres, finishing first amid loud cheers from spectators.
Thunder Oars (KBC-SFBC, Ayaparambu Pandi) made great forays to finish fifth, as against ending at the bottom in the previous round at Pandanad last Saturday. Announcement for the fourth position is pending with the appeal committee after Backwater Warriors (Town Boat Club, St Pious Tenth) allegedly committed a track deviation even while emerging first in the second-loser’s final.
Coast Dominators (UBC Kainakary) fared better at Kayamkulam, finishing sixth — a notch above their performance at Pandanad. Ripple Breakers (Punnamada Boat Club, Veeyapuram) slipped to seventh (fourth at Pandanad), followed Backwater Knights (Village Boat Club, Devas). Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club, Payippad) finished last, four slots down their performance at Pandanad last weekend.
The penultimate round of CBL-2 is slated at Kallada in Kollam district on November 19. The final of the tournament is at the Ashtamudi lake by Kollam city on November 26.
With today’s Kayamkulam races, Tropical Titans continue to remain atop — with 97 points. Standing second are Mighty Oars (88), followed by Raging Rowers (76) and Ripple Breakers (64). At the fifth position are Pride Chasers (57). Coast Dominators stand sixth with 52 points, followed by Backwater Knights (36). Backwater Warriors, whose result remains suspended, are stuck at 30, while Thunder Oars have 32 points.
The inaugural ceremony today was presided over by U. Prathibha, MLA. Education Minister V. Sivankutty formally announced the races open at the function that was attended by Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopakumar, Saji Cheriyan, MLA; District Collector V. Krishna Teja and members of civic bodies.
Each participating team will get Rs 4 lakh in every league match. Besides, the winner will get an additional Rs 5 lakh, followed by Rs 3 lakh for the runner-up and Rs 1 lakh for the second runner-up.
The inaugural of CBL-2 was in Alappuzha on September 4, while the November 26 finals will coincide with the famed President’s Trophy.
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