If you thought all the fun and spirit in a boat race is only in the backwaters, you are wrong.
The Kumarakom Town Boat Club (KTBC), one of the five teams from Kottayam district participating in this year’s Nehru Trophy, has come up with a hi-tech initiative to present its run for the Diamond Jubilee edition of the prestigious boat race. The most celebrated boat race of the state will be held on August 11.
A website http://townboatclubkumarakom.com containing information and pictures of the club was launched by Kumarakom Panchayat president Dhanya Sabu on Sunday.
“Though we had planned this in 2010, it did not materialise. Last year we were not in a position to have a website. This time some of our friends from Thiruvanchoor made it possible at a cost of `18,000,” said Vinu Alex, treasurer, KTBC. The website has everything for a boat race fan, including the history of the club, details of the captains and Kumarakom, one of the most popular tourist destinations in south India. The website will be updated in the coming days with news and pictures on the activities of the club.
The club has a glowing 14-year history and had lifted the Nehru Trophy on its first attempt in 1999 on Alappadan. In the process, it also ended a 14-year title drought of clubs from Kumarakom. The club went on to win the trophy four times in a row from 2004 to 2007 and has a total of six victories in 13 years. Three chuandans, Alappadan, Cheruthana and Payippadan, had tasted their maiden victory at Punnamada Lake on the strength of oarsmen from KTBC.
Its last victory was in 2010 on Jawahar Thayankari with the boat regaining the trophy after a gap of 25 years. This year too KTBC is going to Nehru Trophy on Jawahar Thayankari.
This time the club is facing a tough competition with four other teams from Kottayam, including two from Kumarakom, in the fray. Kumarakom Boat Club, the pioneers from the area with a winning streak in Nehru Trophy is on Cheruthana, and the latest Kumarakom Village Boat Club is on Illikkalam along with Angel Boat club Manchadikkari on Deavs and Thiruvarppu Boat club on Karichal.
“Our team with nearly 110 members will have a maximum 15-day trial before taking on the huge challenge,” said Vinu.