Come Boating!, Belfast's community boating organization, continued its winning ways by taking first and second place in its class in the Saturday, May 3 Essex River Race in Massachusetts.

The event was sponsored by the Cape Ann Rowing Club.

The Malcolm G, with Kyffin Dolliver, Kevin Brown, John Dillenbeck, Jonathan Fulford, Ethan Shaw, Gregory Stafford and coxswain Rowan Walauski, pulled across the finish line to a first-place finish with a time of 54 minutes and nine seconds.

The Selkie, with Tracy Cunning, Amy Grant, Tanya Lubansky, Sarah Mattox, Sue Orsato, Monica Piccinini and coxswain Linda Hurley, finished second at 57:18.

The race course followed the meandering Essex River through salt marshes and tidal flats to its mouth, around an island, and back to the start point. The downpour that preceded the row soaked the rowers, but mild temperatures kept everyone in good spirits.

More than 170 rowers in a variety of boats, including high performance kayaks, canoes, surfskis and many workboats lined up in the narrow start of the Essex River, and streamed out in a staggered start that lasted an hour.

The Essex is the second major race of the season, is one of the hardest to navigate, and one of the most beautiful, said Dillenbeck.

Come Boating!’s free community rowing program will kick off its 14th season on Saturday, May 31, with activities that highlight its community boating activities. Come Boating! volunteers will be at the organization’s boat shed near the Belfast Public Landing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. serving free hot dogs and lemonade and providing information about its free community rows, youth rowing program, and opportunities to become a coxswain or skipper.

An “All Things Nautical” Yard Sale, with boating gear and accessories, will take place near the boat shed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trained coxswains will be on hand to take visitors out for a row on the harbor in a six-oar, 32-foot Cornish pilot gig.

Throughout the season, rows will be offered each week, including exercise and power rows for rowers looking for a more strenuous workout than the regular community rows. Individuals wishing to row need to sign-up in advance in the notebook at the Come Boating! boat shed near the public boat launch on Belfast Harbor.

For more information about Come Boating!, visit online at