A snake boat owned by V.V. Geemon of Kainakary, a former international rower, is a strong contender for this year’s Nehru Trophy.
Mr. Geemon was part of the Indian rowing team, which took part in International Dragon Boat Races including those held at Thailand and Singapore, for four years since 1986.
He has rented out ‘Mahadevan’, one of the two snake boats owned by him, to Town Boat Club, Alappuzha, to row in the Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
Mr. Geemon has represented the club at several boat races in the past.
‘Mahadevan’ is one of the best snake boats in the racing circuit. It reached the finals of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race four times under the names ‘Pattarachundan’ and ‘Muttel Kainakary’.
Mr. Geemon said he bought ‘Mahadevan’ after organisers of the boat race did not include his first boat in the main category.
“Four years ago, I bought ‘Anari Puthen Chundan’ and named it ‘Madhav Valsan Vadakke Attuppuram’.
I was part of the team that once rowed the boat. The snakeboat, rowed by 91 men, participated in the ‘A’ grade category at the Nehru Trophy Boat Race till the year I bought it.
But later the organisers included it in the exhibition category,” he said.
He also alleged that the organisers of the famous boat race did not include him in any of their committees, despite him being a former gold medal-winning international rower.
“I bid goodbye to rowing after 2005 and became the first owner of a Veppu B-grade boat ‘duke’ nine years ago,” Mr. Geemon said. He believes his boat ‘Mahadevan’ can clinch the prized trophy if the rowers of Town Boat Club put up a disciplined effort.