First race of inaugural edition of Champions Boat League
Alappuzha is all set to host the 67th edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race on Saturday. It is also going to be the first race of the inaugural edition of the Champions Boat League (CBL).
The race will be flagged off by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Punnamada Lake on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the presence of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and other dignitaries.
The race was originally scheduled for August 10. However, the government postponed the event in the wake of flood and natural calamities in the State. Last year too, the race was put off owing to floods. The event was later held in November.
This year, a total of 79 boats, including 23 snakeboats, will participate in the Nehru trophy. Of the total snakeboats, 20, including nine CBL teams, will compete in the main race and the remaining three snakeboats in the exhibition race. Competitions will also be held in the Iruttu Kuthi ‘A’, Iruttu Kuthi ‘B’, Iruttu Kuthi ‘C’, Veppu ‘A’, Veppu ‘B’, and Thekkanodi categories.
Hosted by Kerala Tourism, CBL is the country’s first-ever boat-race the lines of 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.
₹5.9-cr prize money
With a total prize money of ₹5.9-crore, the CBL is ranked the fourth highest in all sports in India. The CBL teams are Tropical Titans (traditionally, Pallathuruthi Boat Club), Backwater Knights (Village Boat Club), Backwater Ninja (Brothers Boat Club), Backwater Warriors (Town Boat Club), Coast Dominators (United Boat Club), Mighty Oars (NCDC), Pride Chasers (Vembanad Boat Club), Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club), and Thunder Oars (KBC/SFBC). The first three winners of each CBL match will get ₹5 lakh, ₹3 lakh, and ₹1 lakh respectively. All participants are entitled to a bonus prize of ₹4 lakh per match.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society, organiser of the event, has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the event. Volunteers wearing green, yellow, red, blue, and black jerseys will be deployed during the event to help children and women, senior citizens, and the differently abled. Green protocol will be implemented strictly, officials said.
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