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Kerala welcomes the world

August 14, 2006
This year, the boat race had some unique participants: a 10-member foreign women's team from Dubai.

It was the first time that a team of foreign women were taking part in the boat race. And they won the women's boat race in this event.

"I am thrilled. I thank the people of Kerala for giving us an opportunity to race in this great backwaters," said an excited Julie Amer, a British national. Amer, founder of adventure club Mountain High, was the leader of the Dubai team.

The other members included German Britta Misch, Britain-born Chinese Wai Yin Chang, Kiwi national Sharon Codyre, Jordanian Dana Anab, Melissa Gorung, Lou Harris and Lea Radcliffe from Britain, Scotswoman Karen Gunning and Robyn Parker from South Africa.

They racers were part of the Alleppey Boat Club. The club had 25 other women from Alappuzha.

There were three women's teams in the 750-metre-long women's boat race. It was the most keenly contested race.

And when the multi-national women's team finished a mere 10 seconds ahead of the next team, the audience, especially the foreign tourists clapped and clapped!

Was it an easy race?

"No not at all," said Codyre. "We had to row very hard. At one time, I felt we would be overtaken. And we won in split seconds. It was the most exhilarating race I ever participated."

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