AMESBURY — Although this will be the fifth consecutive year in the revival of the Mighty Merrimack Rowing Race at Lowell’s Boat Shop, there will be a brand-new attraction at the event.
On Sunday, the recently launched replica whaleboat built by eight area high school apprentices during the past academic year. The apprentices are ready to test their vessel’s mettle by taking part in the race and are eagerly anticipating a challenger to join the fray.
This 28-foot replica whaleboat is slated to be placed aboard the Charles W. Morgan, the last extant whaling ship, in Mystic, Conn. when she sets off on her 38th voyage next year. Also featured is the annual Mayor’s Cup Rowing Race, with Amesbury’s Thatcher Kezer and Newburyport’s Donna Holaday.
Open to the general public, the Fall Classic will be limited to traditional wooden boats, including dories and skiffs; fixed seat boats, oars on gunwale; and fixed seat boats with outriggers—with both singles and doubles in each case. Additional boat classes will be determined, if necessary.
Parking will be available at the Town Landing or across the street at the Amesbury Water Treatment Facility.
The race course will be fully charted and explained to all participants. The circular course will extend for approximately three miles, commencing and finishing at Lowell’s Boat Shop.
Boats will launch at the Amesbury Town Landing and row downriver to start in front of Lowell’s Boat Shop. High tide at Salisbury Point is 1:30 p.m., so the race will transpire during the last hour of flood tide. Rowers will be going with the current on the upriver legs. The downriver legs will be along the south shore, with slower current and help from eddies.
Pre-registration ($25 per participant) is strongly recommended, though additional registrations on the day of the event ($30 per participant) will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, at the Amesbury Town Landing. For rowers younger than age 18, the fee is $10. In each case, official participants will receive a commemorative hat or T-shirt.
A pre-race meeting at the Amesbury Town Landing is set for noon, with the actual race to begin at 12:30 p.m.
From noon to 3 p.m., all rowers and their friends are cordially invited to partake of food, drink and live music at the Boat Shop. Race winners will receive awards at this time. There is a suggested donation of $5 for non-rowers and non-members attending the event.
To pre-register for the race, visit www.lowellsboatshop.com or call 978-834-0050.