Nehru Trophy: Celebrations from Punnamada spillover onto streets of Alappuzha

Fans of Pallathuruthy Boat Club celebrate their team's success in Punnamada, Alappuzha on Saturday.

Alappuzha: The frenzied beats of drums, which made the spectators go wild during the race, spilled onto the streets of Alappuzha town as people celebrated the fourth consecutive victory of the Pallathuruthy Boat Club in the Nehru Trophy Boat Race on Saturday evening.

Fans were seen whooping in joy, celebrating the team’s triumph by roaring in jubilation, raising slogans, and beating drums. Youths took the victory rides for their favourite club in small boats, circling around the Veeyapuram Chundan, even as the oarsmen thanked the audience for their unwavering support and loud cheering.

Chants hailing the winning team and boat songs could be heard from a distance while traffic along the town came to a standstill. Even the spectra of an evening rain could not stop ecstatic fans from taking to the streets to dance and sing.

“This is such an important moment for the fans of the Pallathuruthy Boat Club. It’s been great to see so many youngsters following this traditional sport in a big way,” said Allen, who captained the winning team along with Eiden Koshy.

Expert ‘finishing touches’ give PBC the gallop to victory
Revelling in the euphoric glow of his team’s successive wins in the flagship race, he sought to attribute the unique fete to its expertise in finishing the race. “Under Manoj Sir, our beloved coach, we had such a focussed training and fitness regime that each and every aspect of the race was analysed and fine-tuned,” he explained.

The social media, meanwhile, was replete with posts of the celebrations. It targeted rival club UBC Kainakari, which finished third even after drafting a few expert rowers that had won the cup for the PBC in the previous year.

But among the fans who celebrated on the streets here were also followers of the UBC – all rooting for the winning team.

“The rivalry is just limited to the race. The victory is for everyone who loves this tradition,” Bijesh Joy, a native of Chambakkulam.

The party was slated to be over only late in the evening but for the fans, it was only the beginning for an array of boat races, including the Champion’s Boat League, are slated to be held across the region in the coming weeks.

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