A total of 78 boats, including the 20 snake boats, lined up this time. Following many highly competitive heats, the electric finale saw the Gabriyel Chundan, of the Thurthippuram Boat Club, snatch the victory from their rivals.
Complaints of inclusion of rowers from other States beyond the stipulated 25 % by certain boat clubs also marred the race.
Following the outcome of the five heats, the qualifying boats would be participating in the finals and losers' finals.
"Chiramel Thottukadavan" of New Drops Boat Club, Kainakari defeated "Abraham Monnu Thaikkal" in the veppu "B" grade category. Sarathi boat rowed by Puthoorans Boat Club Alappuzha won in "thekkenodi thara" category, and Chellikadan rowed by Sreevalsam Vanitha Boat Club, Cheruthana, won in "kettuvallam" category.
In one of the most exciting finals in recent years, Gabriel Chundan of Thuruthipuram Boat Club edged past Mahadevikkad Kattilthekkethil of United Boat Club (UBC) Kainakari to claim the 65th Nehru Trophy. The air is thick with anticipation, as over a lakh spectators watch on eagerly from the pavilions on the banks. State-of-the-art starting system and a digital platform to count the time of boats have been installed at the finishing point. The chundans (snakeboats) stand ready on the clear waters of the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha, their rowers bursting with barely contained energy. CCTV cameras have been set up in all parts of the city and shadow police will be deployed to prevent any illegal activities.