Rochester, MA, Canoe Race a Grand Tradition

A festive crowd gathers at the finish line at race (2011). Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson

SouthCoastToday: Seventy-nine years ago, a tradition started on the Mattapoisett River that continues this Memorial Day, strong as ever.

Approximately 80 homemade river racer boats will run in this year’s Memorial Day Rochester Boat Race starting at 8:30 a.m. on May 27 [2013] off Snipatuit Road in Rochester and ending 10 miles later at the Herring Weir, River Road, Mattapoisett.

It’s a race that began in 1934 as part of a 4-H Club project with only four teams competing, organizers said. Since then, it has drawn as many as 100 racers. The race has been sponsored by the Rochester Fire Department since 1972 and the two-person teams range in age from under 14 to 79 in divisions that include men’s, women’s, junior boys and girls, co-ed and parent-child.

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To watch a video of the 2010 Rochester Memorial Day Race CLICK HERE:


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