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Jawahar Thayankari wins Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala
09-08-2015

Alappuzha: In a heated contest under calm weather, Jawahar Thayankari won the 63rd Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada backwaters here on Saturday. With thousands of fans cheering from both the banks of the lake, Jawahar Thayankari clinched the trophy, which has been described as the Olympics in the backwaters.

Jawahar Thayankari captained by Jameskutty emerged winners beating Mahadevikkattil Chundan. Sree Ganesh came in the third place while St Pius 10th of St Pius 10th boat club finished fourth.

Earlier, Jawahar Thayankari beat defending champion Champakkulam Chundan in the fourth heat. Jawahar Thayankari bagged the Nehru Trophy for the first time in 1977. It emerged triumphant in 1978, 1985 and 2010 as well.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, and Chinese Ambassador to India Le Yucheng attended the inaugural function held in the afternoon.

Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob chaired the meet. Speaker N Sakthan, MPs KC Venugopal, Kodikkunnil Suresh, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson were present among others. TM Thomas Isaac MLA flagged off the mass drill.

Marking the 63rd year of the race, a total of 63 boats participated in various events.

Lauding the efforts gone into the boat race set against the enchanting beauty of the backwaters in Alappuzha, Gadkari said “I’m always positive about Kerala.” The Union Minister has also assured Kerala of Centre’s help in sanctioning waterways.

Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng, who was the special guest at the event, also hailed Alappuzha as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

The regatta’s organisers have seen to it that the event matches its global reputation, overcoming a money pinch. The regatta named after former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has become one of the most celebrated events on the state’s tourism calendar.

Seats have been arranged for the special invitees at the Nehru Pavilion near the Finishing Point at Punnamada. Guests, Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society executive committee members, municipal councillors and journalists have also find a place there. Tourists who have bought a golden pass for Rs 2,500 or a silver pass for Rs 1,500 were also allowed in the pavilion. (With inputs from agencies)