It’s That Time of Year Again! The Annual Rochester, MA Boat Race will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015. The first boat will take off from Gramma Hartley’s Reservoir on Snipatuit Road in Rochester at 8:30 AM at the start of the gun and every minute another boat will launch. The race follows the windy Mattapoisett River and ends at the Herring Weir, River Rd. in Mattapoisett.
The race is open to everyone of all ages. There must be 2 persons to a boat and the boat must be of homemade design of any material. The Race is sponsored by the Rochester Fire Department and headed by Arthur Benner. The Fire Department is present at all the checkpoints along the way and is always present at the Herring Weir with some mighty good hot dogs and donuts.
There are many categories for the race, including the Open Division, Parent Child, Co-Ed, Women’s, Junior Boys and Junior Girls. Trophies are awarded at the end of the night in each category. There are also special trophies for Old Man of the River and special Memorial Plaques for those who have won the same category for three years in a row.
Pre-registration is required. There is also a Ham and Bean Supper on Saturday, May 23, from 5-7 PM at Rochester Memorial School to benefit the Boat Race
It is always a great time to follow the racers at certain points along the river. Most of the course follows the river through the woods, but there are many spots along the way where spectators gather to cheer on the racers such as the bridge on New Bedford Rd. in Rochester, and Wolf Island Rd cranberry bogs.
The course generally takes about two hours for the top racers depending on the conditions of the river. This year the river has been lower due to the lack of rain which sometimes means slower times, but the race is still days away and that could change.
Come on out and cheer on your local racers. It’s a great time for racers and spectators alike!
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