Ten women, based in the UAE and keen adventure sport enthusiasts, were bitten by the bug that will see them form the part of the strong Aleppey Boat Club this year.

The prestigious Nehru Trophy boat race in Alappuzha will have some international flavour this year. Though hordes of tourists flock to watch the event every year, it is for the first time in the history of the race that some foreigners are actually taking part in it.

Ten women, based in the UAE and keen adventure sport enthusiasts, were bitten by the bug that will see them form the part of the strong Aleppey Boat Club this year. Aleppey Boat Club is the ladies champion for the last three years. The 10 women, some of whom will be picking up the paddle for the first time in their life, will be training with 23 members of the club at the Punnamada Lake before the event.

Julie Amer, the team leader and founder of Mountain High, was instrumental in bringing the 10 women from different nationalities together. She said she was excited and looking forward to race in the prestigious event. "It is a great way to connect our respective culture and countries. It will be a fantastic experience for us," she said.

It all began when Ms. Amer happened to read about the Nehru Trophy boat race and the victorious ladies team of Aleppey Boat Club on the Internet. She was thrilled and wanted to take part in the event. She expressed her desire to her friend Ali who introduced her to Kumar of Jaysree Travels.

Little did Ms. Amer realise that in a few days time she would be travelling to Alappuzha to discuss the whole thing with the organisers. She met the Alappuzha Collector and officials of the Aleppey Boat Club who were more than happy to include a multi-national team in their ranks.

Ms. Amer found like-minded individuals in Britta Misch, Wai Yin Chang, Sharon Chodyre, Dana Anab, Melissa Goring, Lea Radcliffe, Karen Gunning, Lou Harris and Robyn Parker for the trip. And Dodge, the official sponsor of Mountain High, supported them in their endeavour. Ms. Amer hopes that this will be the first of the many such trips to Kerala and in future Mountain High will be able to field a full-fledged team of 33 women from Dubai for this event.

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