Kerala's 12-week long 'snake boat' race league begins

Kerala's 12-week long 'snake boat' race league begins

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The maiden Champions Boat League (CBL) of Kerala, a snake boat competition modelled on the lines of the Indian Premier League, was kicked off in Kerala, along with the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race.

Nine teams are competing in the 12 races scheduled over a period of 12 weekends at various places in Kerala, along with the traditional boat races. The maiden competition at Punnamada lake at Alappuzha was formally flagged off by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

The final event will be held along with the famous President's Trophy boat race at Kollam on November 23.

First three winners of all the league races will get cash prizes of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs one lakh each. All teams will get a bonus cash prize of Rs 4 lakh each for each race. The first three winners in the finals will get Rs 25 lakhs, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.

The Kerala tourism department initiated the event with the aim of boosting Kerala tourism. Though it was scheduled to be launched last year, it had to be put off owing to the floods. This year too, the initial plans to launch the event on August 10 had to be postponed owing to the floods.

The attempts to hold team auctions along the lines of the IPL also suffered a setback, due to a bleak response from sponsors. Hence, the Tourism department is now sponsoring all teams and fresh bidding attempts might be initiated as the race progresses.

Meanwhile, the 'Nadubhagom Chundan' snake boat won the Nehru Trophy boat race on Saturday.