The cold, wet weather didn’t stop the Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race. The event is held every year rain or shine and this was the 83rd running of the river boat race down the Mattapoisett River. The spectators came out with umbrellas and raincoats to cheer on their favorite racers.
The rain did have an advantage for the racers. The river was high and the race times were faster. Ian MacGregor and Jake Goyette were the defending champions from 2016. This year they were able to shave off 2 minutes from last year’s time and finished at 1:50:13. It wasn’t enough for the win though, and Dan Lawrence and William Watling III took the title this year with a time of 1:48:14. Ian and Jake took second place. Finishing up the top three were Andy Weigel and Jay Lawrence with a time of 1:51:14. Fourth place was claimed by Tim Hathaway and Gary Stopka with a time of 1:57:01 and fifth place went to Peter MacGregor and Paul Milde with a time of 1:58:51.
Tucker and Jonathan Roy of Rochester took first place in the Parent/Child division with a time of 2:07:29. Ethan and Samantha Hathaway were the winners of the Co-Ed division, with a time of 2:10:13. Caitlin Stopka and Emma Knox won the Women’s division, their time: 2:38:23. Eli and Rylan MacGregor won the Boy’s Junior division in 2:39:32.
Joel Hartley was awarded the Old Man River award as the oldest racer in this year’s race.
The Harding family of Rochester have made it an annual tradition with Harrison taking daughter Chloe and Lindsay with son Wyatt. They pulled into the end almost side by side.
50 boats were registered for the race and 46 teams made it to the end of the race at the Herring Weir in Mattapoisett.
The boat race is made possible by lots of volunteers including Chairman Arthur Benner and the Rochester Fire Department as well as the local police departments, volunteer time keepers, river cleaners and everyone that makes it possible.
The awards were handed out at the Rochester Memorial School at 7:30 pm.
It’s a great family tradition in Rochester and the neighboring towns. Parents with children, husbands and wives, siblings, cousins, friends. It’s a great sense of accomplishment pulling into the Herring Weir in Mattapoisett after the 2 hour course. Make it your new family tradition.
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