Veeyapuram Chundan rows to victory at Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Pallathuruthy Boat Club's Veeyapuram Chundan inches towards the finishing line on track 1 to win the Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2023. Photo: Alappuzha PRD News/Video Grab

Pallathuruthy Boat Club has done it again. The team, that won the Nehru Trophy Boat Race for the past three years, emerged victors at the pageant this time too on their boat Veeyapuram Chundan. Champakkulam Chundan won the second place and Nadubhagom third. 

The final of the snake boat race saw a thrilling finish from all four finalists including Mahadevikkadu Kattil Thekkethil Chundan of the Police Boat Club which came fourth. 

Winners in other categories
Here are the winners in the categories of small boats:
Veppu A: Ambalakkadan (Dream Catch)
Veppu B: P G Karippuzha (Kavanr City)
Thekkanodi: Kattil Thekku (SAI)
Thekkenodi Kettu: Kattil Thekkethil 
Iruttu Kuthi A: Moonnut (Kairali Boat Club)
Iruttu Kuthi B: Thuruthippuram (Thuruthippuram Boat Club)
Iruttu Kuthi C: Vadakkumpuram Boat (Punarjani Boat Club)
Churulan: Moozhi (Yuvadhara)

CM couldn't make it
As chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's chopper couldn't land in Punnamada due to inclement weather, the 69th edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat race was inaugurated by minister Saji Cheriyan. 

Snake boats for NTBR get ready for the race. Photo: Arun Sreedhar/Manorama

Inaugurating the event, the minister said the display of unity at the event is commendable as it is the starting point of many other boat races in the state.

United Boat Club, Kainakary enter the NTBR track. Photo: Krishna Kumar K E

The inaugural was followed by a colourful mass drill event featuring all snake boats. 

The event had in attendance district collector Haritha B Kumar IAS, ministers P Prasad, K Rajan, V Abdurahiman, speaker M B Rajesh amongst others. 

The police team's boat enters the NTBR track. Photo: Krishna Kumar K E

The event began today at 11 am at the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha with the race of small boats. Firstly, the competitions for Iruttu Kuthi A, B Grade boats and veppu boats wrapped up. The race for snake boats began around 3 pm. 

Rain fails to ruin the spirit of the race
Though there was occasional rain at the venue, it did not dampen the competition spirits of the participants or spectators. 

Small boats return after morning practice. Photo: Krishna Kumar K E

In nine categories, this year’s race had a total of 72 boats, including 19 snake boats (chundan vallams). The categories are Iruttukuthi B Grade, Iruttu Kuthi A Grade, Veppu A and B grade, Churulan, Thekkanodi Thara and Thekkanodi Kettu boats. 

This year, the event used modern starting and photo-finish systems to determine winners.

A green boat festival
The Nehru Trophy Boat Festival was a 'green fest' this year, with around 135 personnel of Haritha Karma Sena deployed at various points to prevent plastics and other non-biodegradable materials from polluting the venue. 

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