Ahead of CBL final, Tropical Titans score triple hat-trick, build a formidable lead
Kollam: Having established an unassailable lead, Tropical Titans registered a resounding triple hat-trick in the Champions Boat League (CBL) when they finished first at the 11th round in Kallada, ahead of the finals of the pioneering water event, scheduled for November 23rd.
The star team met the expectation of crowd by outshining all their eight competitors yet again by clocking 3:43.91 minutes in the evening’s final race, ahead of spirited Raging Rowers (3:49.95) and Mighty Oars (3:52.00) who came second and third, respectively.
Amid loud cheer down the one-km track, the day’s victors also earned the ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day’ with the best timing in the final race.
Topping the overall tally with 158 points, Tropical Titans sustained their unbeatable lead in the three-month CBL that is to host its final round at the scenic Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam on November 23.
The all-Saturday event across five districts is being organised by Kerala Tourism on the model of IPL cricket with the simultaneous aim of rejuvenating the state’s traditional boat races underpinned with a high degree of professionalism. The CBL has so far been watched by more than 20 lakh people.
The CBL table now has Raging Rowers standing second with 78 points, followed by Mighty Oars and Coast Dominators sharing the third rank with 69 points.
Tropical Titans, owned by Pallathuruthy Sports Club, had earlier scored hat-tricks in the third round at Karuvatta (September 14) and then in the eighth leg at Kainakary (October 26).
The only venue where they lost in the 12-leg CBL was at Kochi on October 5, when Coast Dominators came in a surprise first, in front of a cosmopolitan gathering along Marine Drive in downtown Ernakulam.
Coast Dominators were runners-up in the previous round (November 9) at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district, ahead of Raging Rowers in a photo finish.
As two teams share the third rank, the fourth place will lie vacant, as per the CBL rule. Fifth and sixth down the tally are Backwater Knights (56 points) and Pride Chasers (48 points).
At seventh position stands Backwater Warriors (32), while Thunder Oars and Backwater Ninjas share the eighth rank with 25 points each.
The Kallada leg saw an instance of a penalty, when Pride Chasers violated uniform, thus inviting a five-second addition to their timing.
The all-Saturday races that began at Punnamada in Alappuzha on August 31 offer prize monies totalling INR 5.9 crore that makes CBL the country’s fourth highest-paid sports tournament.
While the day’s topper secures INR 5 lakh, it is INR 3 lakh and INR 1 lakh for the second and third finishers.
All participating teams are entitled to INR 4 lakh per match. The overall winner of the championships is entitled to INR 25 lakh, followed by INR 15 lakh and INR 10 lakh for the second and third prize winners.
The Kallada leg, which also hosted races for the smaller veppu and iruttukuthi boats, was inaugurated by Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma.
Kunnathur MLA Kovoor Kunjumon presided over the function that was attended by Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, District Collector Abdul Nasar, District Police Chief Harishankar and members of the local civic body, including Binu Karunakaran, Munroe Thuruth Gram Panchayat President.
The CBL, with its rounds being made more spectacular by cultural programmes featuring folk and classical performing arts, had cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar as the chief guest at its inaugural round, on the sprawling Punnamada backwaters of Alappuzha.
The CBL, billed as a game-changing initiative, is looking to professionalise Kerala’s largely scattered snake-boat races, while commercialising them without losing the conventional spirit.
Tickets can be booked online, besides outlets that facilitate spot purchase of tickets. The prices range from INR 200 to INR 2,000. The President’s Trophy Boat Race is set to be hosted at the House Boat Terminal, Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam District on November 23, 2019. Details on the official CBL website, and on social media channels.