Snake Boat Race in Kerala preparations

Thursday, July 29, 2010

COCHIN - Braving the rough weather conditions, enthusiastic rowers carried out their first practice session for the upcoming Jawaharlal Nehru Trophy in the backwaters of Allepey here on Thursday.

With the countdown for the annual Snake Boat Race having already begun, the participants are leaving no stone unturned to garner the best physical and mental toughness required for this sport.

The locals here turned up in large numbers to support the fervour and hard work of their favourite teams, as the rowers rolled their exquisitely crafted snake boats into the backwaters for the training session.

The participants appeared all geared up for the rigorous training session under specialized trainers lined up for them ahead of the event.

“We will be doing our regular practice from now onwards. A camp will be organized and in that we will have rigorous training sessions which will be conducted by Jose from Kainagerry village, since morning,” said K. Judy, the second captain of the Devas team.

The Nehru Trophy boat race, popularly known as Vallam Kali, is an annual event organized at the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha for the past 57 years.

The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (Snake Boats).

The task of designing and building the snake boat takes over a year to complete.

The boat carries 100 to 150 people onboard, which include oarsmen and a group of musicians to cheer the team on as they try and propel their boat ahead of their competitors.

“Every one in our team is of this collective opinion that this boat (Devas) newly built and rolled into the backwaters has got all the features required to win the race. Apart from this, we have come up with the best group of rowers better than the boat ‘Jesus’ of Kollam and way more competent than them,” said Kunjumon P., Coordinator of the Devas team.

“So, I think our boat will be getting a good position in this year’s Nehru Trophy race,” he added.

The 58th edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race will be held on August 14. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)

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