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Boat race held during temple festival

Special Correspondent
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Morpannai, a coastal village near Uppur near here, wears a festive look in view of the Sri Ranabathrakaliamman Temple festival, coinciding with Vaikasi Visakam, and the famous sailing competition.

The villagers of Morpannai and the surrounding areas assembled to celebrate the 33rd annual festival with pomp and gaiety on Thursday. The sail boat competition, which used to draw more than 100 participants from nearby fishing villages, was confined to the local traditional fishermen this year.

“A couple of years ago, about 150 fishermen in 30 boats took part in the competition, but this year we decided to confine it to the Morpannai fishermen,” Murthy, treasurer of the festival committee, said.

He said 50 fishermen and 10 sail boats took part in this year’s competition, sailing for 10 km up and down in the sea off Thondi. The five-member team headed by Chandramegam (35) won the first prize, a purse Rs.15,033, and the second prize — Rs.10,033 — was won by Easwaran (34) and his team. Next year, the competition will be made open to all in the district, he said.

The festival was presided over by village president P.Selvam. A Thiru Vilakku Pooja was conducted by members of Vivekananda Kendra from Kanniyakumari. The day-long festival drew to a close with a cultural show by school students.

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