Tropical Titans win in photo-finish final at Kollam, lift CBL trophy

Kollam, November 23, 2019

Far from being complacent over a triple hat-trick that had given them an invincible lead in the tournament, Tropical Titans rowed their snake-boat to glory yet again in a photo-finish final at the 12th leg of the Champions Boat League (CBL) to score 173 points overall, emerging as winners of the inaugural edition of the pioneering water event.
At the splendid Ashtamudi Lake in this city amid high suspense over the CBL’s runners-up, Raging Rowers came second this evening by gaining a narrow edge over Mighty Oars who ended third in a thoroughly spirited race that marked the finale of the championship modelled on IPL cricket. The victors had a lead of mere 11 milliseconds over their immediate rivals, while the team that came third was just 13 milliseconds behind the runners-up.
The spectators cheered aloud as Tropical Titans emerged victors with timing of 4:33.69 minutes along the one-km track while Raging Rowers clocked 4:33.80 and Mighty Oars 4:33.93. The final round of the CBL coincided with the annual President’s Trophy Boat Race (PTBR) that began from 2011.
The ‘Nerolac Excel Fastest Team of the Day’ also went to Tropical Titans with the best timing of 4:21.50 in the heats. The team thus got five points besides 10 for finishing first in the finals. Tropical Titans had earlier scored hat-tricks in the third round at Karuvatta (September 14), in the eighth leg at Kainakary (October 26) and the 11th leg at Kallada (November 16).
Here’s the list of teams in the overall tally: Tropical Titans (first 173 points), Raging Rowers (second, 86), Mighty Oars (third, 76), Coast Dominators (fourth, 75), Backwater Knights (fifth, 60), Pride Chasers (sixth, 50), Backwater Warriors (seventh, 37), Thunder Oars (eighth, 28) and Backwater Ninjas (ninth, 26).
Last weekend at Kallada in this district, the penultimate round of the all-Saturday CBL had left Mighty Oars to share the third rank of the table with Coast Dominators when each team totalled 69 points. Today’s final witnessed a remarkably close race with Coast Dominators not figuring among the top three.
Coast Dominators, though, were the only team to win a round in this CBL. That was at Kochi on October 5.
The CBL, which was organised in 11 venues across five districts of the state, did succeed in rejuvenating Kerala’s traditional boat races with a high degree of professionalism. What’s more, all the 12 races brought in huge crowds with the total number of viewers pegged at 22 lakh at the end of the championships that began on August 31 with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar as the chief guest at the inaugural venue in Alappuzha’s Vembanad Lake. The success has prompted the government to make next year’s CBL pan-Kerala.
Today’s Kollam round, which also hosted races for the smaller boats as part of the PTBR, was inaugurated by Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac, with N K Premachandran, MP, as the chief guest. The others to address the gathering were Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma, actor-legislator M Mukesh, M Noushad, MLA, Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation MD Krishna Teja, Kollam District Collector Abdul Nasar, Kollam Mayor-in-Charge Vijaya Francis and Zilla Panchayat President C Radhamani.
Only once in this CBL did Tropical Titans fail to finish first. That was in Kochi on October 5 when Coast Dominators surprised the cosmopolitan gathering by outsmarting the regular victors in a photo finish.

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