From September till November, the serene charm of the backwaters welcomes the tides of victory during the Champions Boat League. Through these months, the league unfolds through 12-weekend races, where nine snake-boats race against each other to clinch the shiny honour of being claimed a champion. The league is more than just a display of strength and awe-inspiring sportsmanship–it's a celebration of Kerala's rich traditions that makes it God's own country.
About Kerala's Snake-Boats
Also known as Chundan Vallam among locals, the snake-boats are considered one of Kerala's precious gems. The name has been inspired by its structure resembling a hooded snake, whereas the colloquial name literally translates to 'beaked boat'. Long and narrow with a pointed prow in the front, the boat did not just look fit for war but was also considered to be so.
The Champion Boat League is a giant step towards preserving the snake-boat's cultural significance. The second edition of the three-month event has witnessed ten of the twelve races and has been received by the people of Kerala and tourists with roaring vigour. The teams are required to row across a track stretching 1 km long–the winner gets 10 points, the runner-up receives 9 points, while the team occupying the third position gets 8 points.
The Tenth Race
Since the first race in Allapuzha's Punnamada Lake in early September, each one has been widely attended by thousands of people cheering on for their favourite teams. The tenth race, held in Kayamkulam in the Alappuzha district on 12th November, saw impeccable performances infused with zeal and cheered on by energised crowds. The event was attended and inaugurated by Smt U. Prathibha, MLA and the Education Minister Shri V. Sivankutty. At the same time, other illustrious members like Deputy Speaker Shri Chittayam Gopakumar, Shri Saji Cheriyan, MLA and District Collector Shri V. Krishna Teja were present to encourage the participants and witness their glorious spirit.
The race at Kayamkulam, Alappuzha
The race at Kayamkulam was concluded with the Mighty Oars emerging as the winners. However, based on the previous races, Tropical Titans continue to reign the scoreboard with 97 points, while the Mighty Oars have found their way to second place with 88 points.
The next race will be held in Kollam district's Kallada on 19th November, while the grand finale of this year's league is set to take place on 26th November in Kollam and will coincide with the esteemed President's Trophy. Given the league's fantastic reception, the government plans to host a new boat race across the Chaliyar river, running along Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. However, this year, the focus has been to recover the lost occasions of the last two years by organising events at a grand scale.