CBL: Tropical Titans reign supreme; achieves hat-trick of titles

Rowers of team Tropical Titans celebrating with the trophy. Photo: Special arrangements

Kollam: Two-time champions Tropical Titans, rowed by Pallathuruthy Boat Club (PBC), scored a hat-trick of victories and retained their Champions Boat League (CBL-2023) title by winning the final round, the President’s Trophy, held at Ashtamudi Lake here on Saturday, amid a poor show by Coast Dominators who had otherwise been the black horses in the 12-leg water festival organised by Kerala Tourism.

Topping the overall points table, the Tropical Titans (rowing Veeyapuram snake boat) scored 116 points, followed by the Coast Dominators (Nadubhagom Chundan of UBC Kainakary Club) at 109 points. Raging Rowers (Police Boat Club on Mahadevikadu Kattil Thekethil) finished third with 89 points.

Snake boats amidst the race, Photo: Special Arrangements

The Tropical Titans clocked a timing of 4:18.96 here to win the final leg and walked away with a cash prize of 25 lakh, while the runner-up Coast Dominators won Rs 15 lakh and the Raging Rowers (third) Rs 10 lakh. Raging Rowers came in second (4:19.83), and Ripple Breakers (Punnamada Boat Club on Karichal) finished third at 4:22.83, displaying excellent spirit that won loud cheers from the spectators.

Today’s victory also meant sweet revenge for the Tropical Titans, who could only come in second here last year in the final of CBL-2. Though the Mighty Oars won the President’s Trophy race then, the Tropical Titans emerged as the champions by topping the overall point rally in 2022.
It needed the Coast Dominators to come up with a power-packed performance to spring any surprise at the last minute. But it even failed to qualify for the finals this time, with a below-par showing in the heats.

The final race saw all three teams surging ahead, with the oarsmen in each of the elegant snake boats splashing the oars in unison with the rhythmic chants and beats of drums. Raging Rowers took the lead at the half-past stage. However, with discipline and a never-die attitude, the Tropical Titans leaped ahead at the last moment to emerge victorious.

Team Tropical Titans accepting the trophy. Photo: Special arrangements

The Air Force came up with dazzling formations in the sky as the crowd watched in amazement. Jet skiing and cultural pageantry added glitter to the event. The prizes were distributed by N K Premachandran, MP, and legislators M Mukesh and M Noushad. Kollam Mayor Prasanna Ernest, Air Marshal Balakrishna Manikantan (chief guest), District Panchayat President Dr P K Gopan, and Collector Devidas besides members of civic bodies, Tourism Department officials and top functionaries of the CBL were present on the occasion.

The CBL, which offers a chance to view the majestic snake boats of Kerala and its energetic rowers display their rowing skills and perfect coordination, has become a major tourist draw and has also strengthened the State’s legacy of snake-boat races that earned international fame with the NTBR. Though conceived as an annual event, the CBL had missed its 2020 and 2021 editions owing to the pandemic outbreak.

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