Nadubhagam repeats history after 67 years

Oozing energy: Snakeboats race to the finish at the Nehru trophy on Punnamada Lake on Saturday.

Oozing energy: Snakeboats race to the finish at the Nehru trophy on Punnamada Lake on Saturday.  

The snakeboat wins Nehru trophy after a pulsating contest

It was on Nadubhagam Chundan (snakeboat) that the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hopped on after the snakeboat came first in an exhibition race during his visit to Alappuzha in 1952. On his return to New Delhi, Nehru donated a silver trophy, a replica of a snakeboat.

Rest is history. On Saturday, more than six decades after the victory in the exhibition race, which was later declared the first edition of the regatta, Nadubhagam Chundan, rowed by the Pallathuruthy Boat Club and led by N. Narayanan Kutty, lifted the Nehru trophy for the first time, clocking 4.25.83 minutes on Punnamada Lake. The Pallathuruthy Boat Club has thus emerged winner in the maiden race of the inaugural edition of the Champions Boat League (CBL). Champakulam Chundan rowed by the United Boat Club, Kainakary, finished second. Karichal Chundan (Police Boat Club) and Devas Chundan (NCDC Boat Club, Kumarakom) came third and fourth.

Although the snakeboat which ferried Nehru was retired a few years ago, the Nadubhagam Boat Club, owner of the snakeboat, built a new chundan with the same name and are competing in boat races.

Earlier, the 67th edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan opened the inaugural edition of the CBL in the presence of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

Mr. Vijayan said the CBL would reinforce the spirit of unity among people. Mr. Tendulkar hailed the gender equality in boat races. “I see a lot of women rowing the boats here. It’s very encouraging. A healthy woman means a healthy family. That happens only when you venture out of your home and bond well with the public,” the cricketer said.

A total of 79 boats, including 23 snakeboats, participated in the Nehru trophy.

Hosted by Kerala Tourism, CBL is the country’s first-ever boat race on the lines of the IPL. There will be 12 races in the CBL beginning with the Nehru trophy and concluding with President’s Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on November 23.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:42:09 PM |

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