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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Devas Chundan wins Nehru trophy boat race 2011

In a photo finish, snake boat Devas Chundan powered by oarsmen of Jesus Boat Club lifted the coveted silver trophy in the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, billed as the country's biggest water sporting event, at Punnamada Lake here today. Devas whizzed past Karichal Chundan of Freedom Boat Club and Muttel Kainakari of United Boat Club in a thrilling race witnessed by hundreds, including a large number of foreign tourists. Over 4,000 oarsmen put on display their rowing skills in the event in which competitions were also held for different types of smaller craft.
Union Health Minister Guhlam Nabi Azad had inaugurated the boat race, which was instituted in early 1950s, to commemorate Jawaharlal Nehru's boat ride in the backwaters of Kuttanad area during a visit to the state.
The race of long and sleek 'snake boats', unique to Kerala and known as "chundam vallams in local parlance, is the highlight of the event in which 16 teams competed. Enchanted by the beauty of the palm-fringed villages on the banks of the backwaters and the sporting spirit of the people, Nehru suggested conduct of the boat race on an annual basis.
He also sent the trophy to be given to the winning team. The boat race is held on second Saturday of August every year.

The history of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race 
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is associated with the visit of late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India to Alappuzha. He chanced a trip from Kottayam to Alappuzha by boat, through water logged Kuttanad. A pageantry of boats accompanied him on the trip.The first race was an impromptu once conducted in 1952 in honour of Panditji who visited Alappuzha.In that race of snake boats, Nadubhagam Chundan stood first. Panditji, who was thrilled and excited in the performance of the oarsmen, jumped into the Nadubhagam Chundan, forgetting all security arrangements.The boat proceeded to the boat jetty carrying the Prime Minister.On his return to Delhi in December 1952, Nehru donated a Silver Trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus.The trophy bears the following inscription above his signature.“To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Cochin."This trophy later came to be known as Nehru Trophy, and in fond memory of great Panditiji, the people of Alappuzha celebrate the Nehru Trophy Boat Race every year.


Winners of Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Year Name of Boat Captian Boat club
1952 Nadubhagam Chakko Mappila Mattu Mappila Nadubhagam Boat club
1954 Kavalam Thomman Joseph Kavalam Team
1955 Parthasarathy K G Raghavan Nair N S S Karayogam, Nedumudy
1956 Kavalam Thomman Joseph Kavalam Team
1957 Neppolian Joseph Cheriyan Pongga Boat Club
1958 NeppolianKavalamCheriyan Joseph T J Job Pongga Boat Club Kavalam Boat Club
1959 Neppolian Cheriyan Vargees Pongga Boat Club
1960 Kavalam Matthachan Kavalam Boat Club
1961 Neppolian Cheriyan Vargees Pongga Boat Club
1962 Kavalam T J Job Kavalam Boat Club
1963 Geargoss P K Thankachan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1964 St. George P K Thankachan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1965 Parthasarathy P K Thankachan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1966 Pulinkunnu Thommichan Pulinkunnu Boat Club
1967 Pulinkunnu Thommichan Pulinkunnu Boat Club
1968 Parthasarathy P K Thankachan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1969 Pulinkunnu C C Chakko Pulinkunnu Boat Club
1970 Kallooparamban Vargees Antony United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1971 KallooparambanPulinkunnu Nellanikkal PappachanChakkamma Kannotuthara Kumarakom Boat Club Pulinkunnu Boat Club
1972 Kallooparamban Nellanikkal Pappachan Kumarakom Boat Club
1973 Kallooparamban Nellanikkal Pappachan Kumarakom Boat Club
1974 Karichal P C Joseph Friends Boat Club Chennamkary & Venattukad
1975 Karichal P C Joseph Friends Boat Club Chennamkary & Venattukad
1976 Karichal P K Thankachan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1977 Jawahar Thayamkari K S Vargees Thayamkari Boat Club
1978 Jawahar Thayamkari K S Vargees Thayamkari Boat Club
1979 Ayaparambu Valya Divanji Ravi Prakash United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1980 Karichal Ramachandran Pullangadi Boat Club
1981 ............................. ............................. ......................................
1982 Karichal Nellanikkal Pappachan Kumarakom Boat Club
1983 Karichal Nellanikkal Pappachan Kumarakom Boat Club
1984 Karichal Nellanikkal Pappachan Kumarakom Boat Club
1985 Jawahar Thayamkari P C Joseph Friends Boat Club Chennamkary & Venattukad
1986 Karichal Sanni Akkarakkalam Village Boat Club, Kainakari
1987 Karichal Sanni Akkarakkalam Village Boat Club, Kainakari
1988 Vellamkulangara T P Rajbhavan Pallatturuthi Boat Club
1989 Champakkulam A K Lalasan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1990 Champakkulam A K Lalasan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1991 Champakkulam A K Lalasan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1992 Kallooparamban V N Velayudhan Sree Lakshmana Boat Club Mulakkulam
1993 Kallooparamban C V Vijayan United Boat Club (U.B.C.) Kainakari
1994 Champakkulam Antony Akkarakkalam Jet Airways Boat Club, Cochin
1995 Champakkulam Jos Jhon Alappuzha Boat Club
1996 Champakkulam Anil Madhavan Alappuzha Boat Club
1997 Alappadan K P Poul Navajeevan Boat Club, Arppukkara
1998 Champakkulam Domanic Kuzhimattom Pallatturuthi Boat Club
1999 Alappadan Sampath Kaniyamparampil Kumarakom Town Boat Club Kumarakom
2000 Karichal Bency Randuthikkal Alappuzha Boat Club
2001 Karichal Tobin Chandy Friends Boat Club Chennamkary & Venattukad
2002 Vellamkulangara Sanny Jakob Kumarakom Boat Club
2003 Karichal Thampi Podippara Navajeevan Boat Club, Maniyaparampu
2004 Cheruthana Raju Vadakkathu, Kumarakam P.O. Kumarakam Town Boat Club
2005 Payippad Raju Vadakkath Kumarakam  Town Boat Club
2006 Payippad Raju Vadakkath Kumarakam  Town Boat Club
2007 Payippad Kunjumon Meluvallil Kumarakam  Town Boat Club
2008 Karichal JiJi Jacob Pollayil Jesus Boat Club, Kollam
2009 Champakkulam JiJi Jacob Pollayil Jesus Boat Club, Kollam
2010 Jawahar Thayankari Joseph philip Kumarakam  Town Boat Club
60 th year Celebrations of Nehru Trophy Boat Race 
2012 will celebrate the 60th year of Nehru Trophy Boat Race and the Executive Committee had decided to celebrate it in splendour. The Statue of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru will be unveiled at Punnamada during the next year's event. It is also decided to launch a web portal for the event with contents in three languages English, Hindi, Malayalam.

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