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Tropical Titans Back on Winning Track at Kottappuram leg of CBL

In Sports
October 15, 2019

THRISSUR:
The thrill quotient around Champions Boat League (CBL) registered a massive surge halfway the three-month event, as the sixth of the 12-round League saw Tropical Titans regaining their winning track with a timing of 3:44.51 amid a sustained trend of close results.

In the first and only CBL leg in this district, Backwater Knights apparently came a surprise second in the evening’s final, but were subsequently declared third after judges imposed an additional five seconds on the team for track violation. Thus, Raging Rowers were officially declared the runner-up, clocking 3:47.56 along the 900-metre track at the Kottappuram backwaters near Kodungallur.

The revised timing by Backwater Knights in the day’s final was officially put at 3:50.53. Drenched in the afternoon drizzle, the crowd at Kottappuram was impressive, enabling the CBL spectators’ number to cross the 10-lakh mark going by their total so far since the start of the league on August 31.

Tropical Titans had been winners in the first four legs of the pioneering championship, but could finish only second last weekend at the CBL Kochi leg, where Coast Dominators had emerged victors. At Kottappuram, Tropical Titans also won the ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day’, clocking 3:27.16 in the heats and earning five extra points. The team, thus, remain atop the overall table with 83 points in the IPL cricket-like pioneering championships being organised by Kerala Tourism.

At the end of CBL round-6, behind Tropical Titans stand Raging Rowers with 41 points. Mighty Oars stand third with 40 points. Coast Dominators, who had scored an upset win at Ernakulam Marine Drive in the previous leg, stand fourth now with 37 points. Standing fifth down the overall table now is Pride Chasers with 30 points. Backwater Knights (26 points) stand sixth, while Backwater Warriors (18) and Thunder Oars (17) are on the seventh and eight spots, respectively. At the bottom stand Backwater Ninjas (13).

Today’s results further changed the dynamics within the CBL teams. Taken aback this evening was Coast Dominators, who had at Kochi put brakes on the winning streak of Tropical Titans. In a neck-and-neck final on October 5, Tropical Titans were the runner-up, while Raging Rowers had come third just an inch or two behind the evening’s victor and the runner-up.

This evening at Kottappuram, Coast Dominators were judged to have made an error in the heats and penalised with an addition of five seconds to their score. Protesting against this, they boycotted the loser’s final of the evening.

Today’s race was inaugurated by Kerala Agriculture Minister V S Sunilkumar, and attended by local MLA V R Sunilkumar, Muziris Heritage Project MD Nowshad P M, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, KSFE Managing Director A Purushothaman and Municipal Chairman of Kodungallur K R Jaithran. The prizes were given away by legislator Sunilkumar, Purushothaman, Praveen representing Nerolac, P Bala Kiran and Nowshad.

The fifth leg at the placid Ernakulam backwaters had its spirit no different from what the CBL teams displayed at the previous edition, rowing upstream along the Moovattupuzha river in semi-hilly Piravom, also of Ernakulam district. The trend of high-suspense continued in Kochi as well, what with the first three teams decided within a range of mere 42 microseconds.

The three-month CBL being organised by the Kerala Tourism is slated to hold its finals on November 23 at down-state Kollam. The inaugural race was at Alappuzha on August 31. Today’s event was held at the Muziris Kottappuram Waterfront, where the CBL helped the traditional boat race come back after a gap of four years.

The Kottappuram round also held competitions for the smaller iruttukuthi boats. It also hosted cultural activities including the classical Mohiniyattam dance and Biblical Chavittunatakam dance-drama. 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 races were broadcast live. 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.

The schedule goes thus from now: 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).