In pictures: Sachin Tendulkar opens Champions Boat League as Tropical Titans lead the way Published: | 31st August 2019 11:04 PM 0 Share Via Email The crowds at the Punnamada lake went into a frenzy as Sachin Tendulkar spoke at the inauguration of the CBL, and ended his talk with the words ‘Nandi, Namaskaram’ (Thanks, Greetings!). Pallathuruthi Boat Club, Alappuzha won the 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race and topped the first round of the Champions Boat League. The three-month event got off to a racy start at the sprawling Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha. The winners, whose CBL name is Tropical Titans, earned nine points, clocking 4.25.83 minutes to cover the distance of 1,050 metres. Mighty Oars (NCDC, Kumarakom) finished fourth with 4:30:28. Organised by Kerala Tourism, the CBL, with nine teams, features 12 rounds of races slated across Saturdays till November 23. The Tropical Titans were followed by Coast Dominators (United Boat Club, Kainakary: 4.28.40) and Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club) 4.29.84, securing eight and seven points, respectively. Hailing the gender equality in the boat races, Tendulkar said, “I see a lot of women rowing the boats here. It’s very encouraging.” Sachin Tendulkar on a float carrying Kathakali dancers and Champions Boat League trophy ahead of the inaugural function of the three-month sports event in Punnamada Lake of Alappuzha on August 31. The crowds at the Punnamada lake went into a frenzy as Sachin Tendulkar spoke at the inauguration of the CBL, and ended his talk with the words ‘Nandi, Namaskaram’ (Thanks, Greetings!). In his address, Tendulkar noted that the “love and affection” from the people of Kerala has always had a distinct appeal whenever he visited the state during his cricketing days or after. Earlier, the CBL inauguration was marked by adventure sports like jet ski flyboard and paragliding. Billed as a game-changing initiative, the CBL seeks to professionalise Kerala’s snake-boat races. Earlier, the boat league was inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The CBL was originally slated to begin on August 10, but got rescheduled owing to heavy rains that wreaked havoc across the state. “Kerala is just back on its seat after the monsoon floods,” noted Tendulkar. “My prayers to all the families who lost their dear ones in the tragedy (at the start of this month).” Sachin Tendulkar along with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, state Finance Minister Isaac Thomas and Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran at the inaugural ceremony of Champions Boat League. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan interacting with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar at the inaugural ceremony of Champions Boat League, at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha on August 31. Sachin Tendulkar on a float carrying Kathakali dancers and Champions Boat League trophy ahead of the inaugural function of the three-month sports event in Punnamada Lake of Alappuzha on August 31. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar speaks at the inaugural function of 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race and first-ever Champions Boat League at Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, on August 31. The 67th Nehru Trophy is won by Pallathuruthi Boat Club, Alappuzha. The winners, who are called Tropical Titans, also won the first leg of the inaugural CBL, held alongside the Nehru Trophy Boat Race.