Rochester to hold modified Memorial Day Boat Race

May 14, 2020

ROCHESTER — The Memorial Day Boat Race will continue in a shorter form, and without any of the events that usually precede or follow it it. 

The Rochester Board of Health has allowed the Fire Department to  sponsor the Boat Race this year, but with changes and restrictions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Face masks must be worn and racers must social-distance. Boats will be staged 6 feet apart and the start time interval will be two minutes to space them out in the river.

The race will start at 8:30 a.m. on May 25 at Grandma Hartley’s Reservoir 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, and 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 should leave Wolf Island Road 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, and the final results will be posted on Facebook by late afternoon.

Team prize certificates will be mailed to one of the entrants in the team. Trophies will also be be purchased and sent out after the race.

The minimum age for contestants is seven years old on Memorial Day. There will be two racers to a boat. The boat must be a homemade river racer design of any material. 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 will be required by mail. 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 are at Lloyd’s Market or the house of Race Boat Chairman Arthur Benner at 319 Cushman Rd. Interested participants may also email to request forms.

Forms should be delivered to 319 Cushman Rd, mailed, or may be returned by email and brought the the starting line on May 25. 

If returned by email or USPS mail, participants should get acknowledgment that they were received. If a participant submits forms and doesn’t get a reply from Benner, assume the
forms were not received and hand deliver a set. The registration deadline is Friday, May 22, at 8 p.m. at Art’s house.

For further information contact Benner at 508-763-2024 or