Rafts race down the Ottauquechee River for a good cause - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rafts race down the Ottauquechee River for a good cause

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BRIDGEWATER, Vt. - A race down the Ottauquechee River in Bridgewater for a good cause -- and the boats were one of a kind.

The Ottauquechee River is moving pretty fast on this Monday, but over the weekend the white water was conquered by dozens of homemade rafts.

"It was the 40th annual raft race and with 29 rafts, you can't ask for anything better," said Beth Fish, a Bridgewater FAST squad member.

It's an annual tradition in Bridgewater to mark the unofficial beginning of
spring. A three mile race down the cold river for a cause that these captains say is worth getting a little wet for. "The FAST squad is meant to be first on scene. We are there to get the ball rolling if we need to call in DHART. It's 15-20 minutes for the ambulance to get here," said Fish.

It's the town's volunteer EMT service and the race is the major fundraiser of the year. The rules are straight forward -- no manufactured hulls and the oars need to be handmade as well.
"It was fun to watch. As FAST squad members we man the river. We spread out along the river to make sure that the rafts are getting down the river OK and that everybody is as safe as possible," said Fish.

Each boat is as unique as the next. Prizes were given out to the fastest raft -- and the most creative. Donations to the FAST squad were expected to exceed $3,000.
"As we have changed out protocols in the state of Vermont it requires more equipment that we carry so we are hoping to gain a little more money to that we can get that equipment," said Fish.

It's a fundraiser on funny looking boats that's benefiting a good cause.

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