2021 Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race

The Rochester Fire Department will again sponsor the Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race this year, but with changes and restriction 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 if the Massachusetts state guidelines require it on Memorial Day, May 31.

-Boats will be staged 6 feet apart.

-There will be no registration sessions, no hot dog stand in Mattapoisett, and no awards program.

-The traditional Ham and Bean Supper will take place at the Rochester Council on Aging Senior Center, Dexter’s Lane, Saturday, May 29, offering a choice of sit-down dining or take-out meals.

-After all registration forms are submitted, the Committee will assign and draw all starting position numbers and notify the teams of their starting number. Also, the list of teams will be posted at the Ham & Bean supper.

            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. (Please print your address clearly). 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 31, starting at 8:30 am at Grandma Hartley’s Reservoir, Snipatuit Road, in Rochester and finishing at the Mattapoisett Herring Weir at River Road and Route 6.

            The minimum age for contestants is 7 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 go to Art’s house, 319 Cushman Road, to get forms or email Art (artbenner@comcast.net) and request forms.

            It is best to deliver the completed forms to 319 Cushman Road. ORr, you may return the form by email, but you must bring the original signed form to the start of the race May 31. You may also return your form by regular mail (USPS). If submitted by email or USPS mail, you’ll get acknowledgment that they were received. If you don’t get a reply from Art, assume the forms were not received and hand deliver a set. Registration deadline is Thursday, May 27, at 8:00 pm at Art’s house.

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

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