RANGELEY – For the 2nd year in a row, the grounds of the Outdoor Heritage Museum and Oquossoc Cove will not be filled with the cheers and laughter of the middle school students of northern Franklin County.
The executive leadership of the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society has made the difficult decision not to host the 2021 Rangeley Regatta. The unique event featuring individual medals of gold, silver and bronze and team points toward the Rangeley Regatta Cup has once again been “torpedoed” by the pandemic.
“My Leadership and some of the schools are justifiably concerned about the prospect of bringing six schools from different communities together here and risking an outbreak. It’s a big disappointment for the kids, staff and us as an organization,” shared executive director and Regatta founder Bill Pierce.
The annual event hosts teams of middle school students from Rangeley, Stratton, Strong, Kingfield, Farmington and Phillips vying in competitions in Art, Public Speaking, Outdoor Team Trivia, Fly Tying, 1-Mile Road Race, Fly casting, Canoe and Kayak Relay and crew-style Rowing Races in authentic Rangeley Boats. The event has become a highlight of Fall since its inception in 2015. Concerns about the prospect of bringing six schools and over 200 students from different communities together and risking the health of the students and the families as they return home was too much to overcome.
The six schools have been invited to visit Outdoor Heritage Museum individually for a customized tour and field day before the museum’s closing on Oct. 11 or when they reopen in May. “The Regatta is my favorite day of the year. I miss watching the kids having so much fun in the various events, but we’ll regroup and make the 2022 Regatta the best, ever,” Pierce said.