KERALA

Kayamkulam Boat Race ends in photo finish

Nail-biting finish:Jawahar Thayankkari battles it out with Cherutana at the third Kayamkulam Boat Race held on the Kayamkulam lake on Saturday.

Nail-biting finish:Jawahar Thayankkari battles it out with Cherutana at the third Kayamkulam Boat Race held on the Kayamkulam lake on Saturday.  

Jawahar Thayankkari Chundan wins race

In an exciting photo finish, Jawahar Thayankkari Chundan (snake boat) pushed Cherutana chundan to second place to lift the Kayamkulam Boat Race at Kayamkulam lake on a rainy Saturday.

However, the rain could not dampen the excitement of hundreds of boat race fans who jostled for the best positions to get a good glimpse of the snake boats piercing through the waters. The rain was also unable to deter the rowers from putting up a scintillating performance. Captained by S. Pavananadhan and rowed by Adv. Khusi Bhaskar Smaraka Boat Club, Jawahar Thayankari lifted the trophy in the midst of joyful cries of their supporters and the spectators.

Cherutana captained by Jyothi Narayana and rowed by Ummasserry Madhavan Boat Club raised the tempo till the finish, but could not finish first. Devas captained by Saneesh and rowed by Victory Boat Club, Kannett, finsihed third. Altogether nine chundans competed for the trophy in the heats and finals.

The well-organised match, with lesser glitches than the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race, had in all its contests a touch of excitement that was hard to resist. Earlier, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala inaugurated the boat race after a procession on the lake. Union Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal presided over the event.

There was a demonstration by four Aranmula Palliyodams. Three speed boats sped through the waters with flags of green and white to put across a message of peace. The mass drill of chundans and other boats was also held. Jawahar Thayankari won the first prize for the mass drill. A water skating demonstration was held by Tom Joseph, a native of Champakulam and the coach of the Maharashtra Dragon Boat Race team.

P.C. Mathew and his 12-year-old son Shelley did the ‘jalayoga’ (performing yoga exercises by floating on water). One could watch clearly from the start to the finish, the boats zooming through the 1050 metres race track. In the losers final (all boats that finished second in their respective heats) of chundans, Ayaparambu Pandi emerged the winner. In the second losers final (all boats that ended in third place in the heats), Payippad emerged winners.

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