Kerala gearing up for boat race extravaganza

The snake boat race of Kerala is getting a major fillip as many leading corporate and celebrities are likely to bid for the maiden edition of Champions Boat League (CBL). (File Photo)

The snake boat race of Kerala is getting a major fillip as many leading corporate and celebrities are likely to bid for the maiden edition of Champions Boat League (CBL), modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League.

An initiative of the Kerala Tourism Department, the CBL involves nine boat clubs from Kerala competing at 12 boat races beginning with the famous Nehru Trophy boat race at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha on August 10 and ending with the President's Trophy boat race in Kollam on November 1.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will be the chief guest at the flag-off event on August 10.

Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that many celebrities had shown keen interest to associate with the event, which can draw international tourists. Bidding for the nine teams representing various boat clubs would be held in Kochi on August 1.

"Apart from giving a fillip to Kerala tourism as well as the snake boat races, CBL would be also an opportunity for the rowers to earn handsome gains as attractive prize money and incentives would be offered to each race," said the minister.

First three winners of all the league races would get a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs one lakh each.

All participants would also get a bonus cash prize of Rs 4 lakh each for every race.

The winners of the November 1 finals will get cash prizes of Rs 25 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

The nine boat clubs that will part are Pallathuruthi boat club, Police boat club, United boat club, Kuttamangalam, NCDC of Kumarakam, Village boat club; KBC SFBC of Kumarakam, Vembanad boat club; Town boat club and Brothers boat club.

The league boat races would be at Pulinkunnu in Alappuzha on August 17, Thazhathangadi in Kottayam on August 2, Piravam in Ernakulam on August 31, Marine Drive in Ernakulam on September 7, Kottappuram in Thrissur on September 21, Ponnani in Malappuram on September 2, Kainakari in Alappuzha on October 5, Karuvatta in Alappuzha on October 12, Kayamkulam in Alappuzha on October 19 and Kallada in Kollam on October 26.

Though the maiden CBL was planned to be held last year, it was postponed owing to the floods in the state.

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