Shree Ganeshan Chundan, the snake boat of the St Francis Boat Club, Harippad won the 61st edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2013 on 9 August 2013 that was held in Punnamada Lake in Alleppey (Alappuzha), Southern Kerala. This is the second consecutive win of Shree Ganeshan that was captained by Arunkumar, Karthikapally. In 2012, it was captained by Jiji Jacob Pollayil under Freedom Boat Club, Kainakary. Jawahar Thayankeri and Anari Chundan were placed at the second and third positions, respectively.
After the win, Ganeshan was honoured with the silver trophy that was donated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952 with his signature embossed on it.
A total of 22 chundans (snake boats) and 41 other country boats participated in the race. The race was inaugurated by Governor of Kerala, Nikhil Kumar and Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
About the Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted every year on the second Saturday of August. The tradition of the boat race started in 1952 after the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru visited the area. During his visit, the villagers held an unprepared boat race to honour his visit in the area. Nehru donated a silver trophy to the winners of the race and since then the competition has been named by his name.
The central attraction of the contest remains the snake boats, which are locally known as Chundan Vallam, which means Beaked Boat. Snake boats have been named following its structure that is long and narrow in shape and 36 to 42 meter in its length. The best thing about the boat is that one hundred oarsmen pull the boat in water. The vessel is steered by four key helmsmen and it also has a team of musicians that fulfill the role of floating cheerleaders, as they sing boat songs that are set on the rhythm of the stroke and drumbeats.
For the first time, women participated in the race with four men rowing support in the 2012, Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
Where: Punnamada Lake
When: 9 August 2013