Winner of Champakulam Moolam boat race will be declared today

The boat race season in the State got off to a chaotic but exciting start on the Pampa River at Champakulam here on Thursday, with the over 400-year-old Champakulam Moolam Boat Race ending without the winner being declared.

The second such instance in the last four years, when the winner could not be declared owing to a photo-finish and ensuing arguments, was witnessed when the ‘Devas' chundan, rowed by the Jesus Boat Club (JBC), Kollam, finished almost at the same time with the ‘Karichal' chundan, rowed by the newly formed Freedom Club captained by Gigy Jacob Pollayil, who incidentally had won the cup last year on the same boat but on that occasion with the JBC.

The 'Jawahar Thayankary' chundan, rowed by the Village Boat Club, Kumarakom, was the third boat in the final race.

With television replays not able to provide conclusive evidence of the victory of either boat, authorities decided to view more visuals and to declare the winner in the presence of the District Collector on Friday. The prize distribution ceremony too has been postponed after members of both the boat clubs clashed with each other. Freedom Club has alleged that JBC had finished in the wrong track and demanded that JBC should be disqualified.

Earlier, the boat race, which is said to have roots dating back to 1545 A.D., was inaugurated by Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, while Thomas Chandy, MLA, presided over the inaugural. State Sports Council president Padmini Thomas and district panchayat president Prathibha Hari also spoke.

As for results in the other categories, the ‘Sri Guruvayurappan' boat won the Odi-B category while the Odi-A category was won by ‘Moonnu Thaikal' boat. The ‘Punnathra Purackal' boat won the Veppu-B category while the Veppu-A category was won by ‘Asha Pulikikalam' boat.

More In: Kerala | National | Kochi