2020 Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race

The Rochester Board of Health has given permission for the Fire Department to again sponsor the Boat Race this year but with changes and restrictions in order to make an effort to keep people safe and healthy as circumstances are relaxing somewhat in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Both spectators and contestants must exercise self-discipline. Face masks must be worn and social distancing is a must. Boats will be staged six feet apart and the start time interval will be two minutes to help space them out in the river. The race will be a shortened version and end just after Wolf Island Road before the normal portage. There will be no registration sessions, no ham and bean supper, no hot dog stand, no awards program. The Committee will assign and draw all starting numbers after all forms are submitted and notify the teams of their starting number. In an effort to reduce congregating, contestants are being asked to leave the Wolf Island Road area as soon as they complete the race. The display board for team elapsed times will not be used.The calculations for elapsed times will be done after the race.

            The final results will be posted on Facebook by late afternoon in a format similar to what has been handed out after the awards program in the past. A team’s prize certificates will be mailed to one of the entrants in the team. Trophies will be purchased and dealt with after the race.

            The Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race on the Mattapoisett River, sponsored by the Rochester Fire Department, will take place on Memorial Day, May 25, starting at 8:30 am at Grandma Hartley’s Reservoir, Snipatuit Road, in Rochester and finishing just after Wolf Island Road before the normal portage.

            The minimum age for contestants is seven years old on Memorial Day. There will be two persons to a boat. The boat must be a homemade river racer design of any material you choose. There are no limitations or restrictions on types of paddles.  

            Divisions include open/men’s, women’s, junior boys, junior girls, co-ed and parent/child. Junior division teams are both contestants under 14 years old. Parent/child is for a parent with his/her child (child under 14 years old) or an adult (25 or older) with a child (child under 14 years old). Trophies are awarded to the first, second, and third-place finishers in each division.

            Pre-registration is required. No registration sessions will be held at the Rochester Senior Center as in past years. A signed registration form must be submitted by each contestant for a team to be eligible for a starting position. Forms may be obtained at Lloyd’s Market. You may also come to 319 Cushman Road to get forms, or email Art Brenner (artbenner@comcast.net) and request forms. 

            The preferred method is to mail or deliver the completed forms to 319 Cushman Road, or you may return the form by email but you must bring the original, signed form to the race start May 25. If you don’t get a reply, assume the forms were not received and hand-deliver a set. Registration deadline is Friday, May 22, at 8:00 pm.  

            For further information contact Boat Race Chairman, Arthur F. Benner, 508-763-2024 or email: artbenner@comcast.net.

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