'Sree Ganesh' chundan (snake-boat) of the Alappuzha Town Boat Club won the 55th Pampa Boat Race held in the race course of the Pampa river at Neerettupuram near Thiruvalla on Friday afternoon. 'Champakkulam chundan' finished second in a close race.
'Ambalakkadavan' of Brothers' Boat Club of Niranom-North won first prize in the Veppu-A category and 'Thottukadavan' of Thalavady Oscar Boat Club came first in the race held in the Veppu-B category.
In the Vadakkanodi-A category, ‘Thuruthithara' of MBC Boat Club stood first while 'Daniel' of Thiruvarpu Brothers' Boat Club won the race in the Vadakkanodi-B category. ‘Velangadan' of the Chengalam Kelakeri Boat Club stood first in the race held in the Churulan-A category.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon inaugurated the boat race at a function held on the banks of the Pampa in the afternoon. He later presented trophies to the winners at the valedictory function.
Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph inaugurated a mass drill by the participating boats.
Kodikkunil Suresh, MP, hoisted the ceremonial flag and P.J. Kurien, Congress Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha, inaugurated the public meeting, earlier. Victor T. Thomas, boat race committee chairman, presided over the inaugural meet.
Raju Abraham, MLA, felicitated the sponsors and Thomas Chandy, MLA, released the souvenir brought out by the race committee on the occasion
Antony Dominic, Thiruvalla Revenue Divisional Officer, R.K. Kurup, Snakeboat Association president, Satish Kochuparambil, District Congress Committee vice-president, Eapen Kurien, Block Panchayat member, Jacob Abraham, District Panchayat member, V.R. Rajesh, James Chunkathil, V.K. Kurien, Jacob K.Oommen, Joji J.Vailoppally, Prakash Panavely and Babu Valiyaveedan, organising committee office-bearers, also spoke.