In the Fastest Friendship Lobster Boat Race Andrew Simmons’ CARSON EMMA [Wayne Beal 46, 1400-hp MAN] and Keith Simmons’ ISAAC & COLBY [Wayne Beal 46, 1,400-hp MAN] heading for the finish. CARSON EMMA got fourth, ISAAC & COLBY took the win.
Carl Anderson III’s DANICA HAILEY doing all he can to keep up with Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER in Diesel Class J.
Battling for the top spot in the Hard Chine Race, Chris Chipman’s MONICA
TYMIN [Mussel Ridge 46; 1,000-hp MAN] and Jason Chipman’s MISS AMITY
[Mussel Ridge 46; 900-hp Scania].
A look at the bows of Wayne Gray’s OCEAN BOUNTY, Spencer Thompson’s MAXED OUT, Ken Gieger’s SHE’S ALL WET, Tad Miller’s MALLARY SKY and Jason Chipman’s MISS AMITY.
The Lobster Boat Racing season is moving right along, with nine completed (Boothbay, Rockland, Bass Harbor, Moosabec, Stonington, Friendship, Harpswell, Winter Harbor and Merritt Brackett at Pemaquid ) and just two to go (Long Island and Portland). We have already covered the first five races and in this issue we will cover the next four, The last two and the year end results will appear in the next issue. If you cannot wait until the end of September go online to mainescoast.com and these races should be up by the end of August.
The Friendship Lobster Boat Races were held on 21 July. There were beautiful sunny skies, no fog, no breeze, and hot. Fortunately a sea breeze filled in nicely after the races got going and it was very comfortable in the middle of Friendship Harbor.
Sign-ups started slow and by 0900 there were no more than 15 boats registered. Then we learned that a lobstermen rally was taking place in Stonington and wondered what effect that was having. Just as we got ready to close sign-ups down with 30 boats another rush took place and we ended up with 39 racers, one more racer than last year. The race committee had gathered a lot of prizes and those that came reaped the benefit.
There were a number of boats missing, which I thought we might see there. In the Gasoline Classes: Steve Johnson’s BUD & DAWN [Jingle Johnson 28; 1,100-hp Chevrolet]; Shawn Alley’s LITTLE GIRL [28’ Calvin Beal Jr.; 429 Ford]; Jeremy Beal’s MARIA’S NIGHTMARE [Mussel Ridge (formerly Wayne Beal) 28; 2,500-hp Chevrolet], and Wayne Rich’s WIDE OPEN [26’ Robert Rich; 350 Chevrolet]. In the Diesel Classes: Winfred Alley’s AIDEN MARINER [Calvin Beal 34; 425-hp Cummins]; Jeremy Tyler’s ALL IN [Northern Bay 38, 500 hp Volvo]; Sean Haskell’s BAD OBSESSION [Holland 32; 380-hp Cummins]; Ryan Haskell’s DECADENCE [Lowell 46; 850-hp Baudouin]; Robert Alley, Jr.’s HANNAH LOUISE [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp John Deere]; Dan Sawyer’s HIGH VOLTAGE [AJ-28; 400-hp Yanmar]; Marshall Spear’s JACALWA [Wesmac 46; 1000-hp Caterpillar]; Eric Beal’s KIMBERLY ANN [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp FPT]; Roy Fagonde’s LAST DESIGN [E. Libby, Jr., 31; 300-hp Caterpillar]; Eben Wilson’s LETTIE ELISE [Young Brothers 45; 650-hp Volvo]; Spencer Thompson’s MAXED OUT [Calvin Beal 44, 800-hp John Deere]; Jason Chipman’s MISS AMITY [Osmond 42; 700-hp Scania]; Nick Wiberg’s MISS KATIE [Northern Bay 36; 700-hp Volvo]; Richard Williams’ MONEY LOVE & DREAMS [Mitchell Cove 35; 800-hp 3406E Caterpillar]; Dana Beal’s RIGHT STUFF [Libby 34; 500 hp Cummins]; Todd Ritchie’s SEACOCK [Calvin Beal 34; 436-hp Sisu]; and Colby Oakes’ TRIPLE X [Mitchell Cove 35, 850-hp Detroit].
There were several classes that had no entrants. In the Gasoline Classes they were: Class A (4 & 6 cylinder 24 feet and over); Class B (V-8 up to 375 cid, 24 feet and up), Class D (V-8, 376 and over, 28 feet and over) and Class E (V-8, Over 525cid, 28 feet and over, superchargers/Turbos). In the Diesel Classes just Class E (336 to 435 hp, 24 to 33 feet) and Class F (336 to 435 hp, 34 feet and over) had no entrants. Also there was no entrants in Wooden Boat Class B (36 feet and over).
There were some close races in several classes, which kept the race committee on their toes. When the racers in the final race crossed the finish line and the harbor was quiet once again the big winner was Cameron Crawford’s WILD WILD WEST [West 28; 1,050-hp Isotta], who won Diesel Class O, Diesel Free-for-All and Fastest Lobster Boat.
This is one of the best places to race on the coast and I fail to understand why there were not 60 or more boats signed up to race. They had a great day and great prizes and that should translate into a good turnout. Make sure you mark your calendar so you do not miss this event next year!
As we have at every race to date, and right through to the last one in Portland, there has been a moment of silence to honor lobster boat racer Galen Alley who lost his life in a traffic accident last winter. At Friendship they also honored one of their lost fishermen, Robert Gray, who passed away this past winter.
The highlights of the Friendship race: There was a good turn out in the three Work Boat Classes. Work Boat Class A winner was Nolan Gahagan [Holland 14; 30-hp Suzuki]; in Class B the winner came all the way from the clam flats of the North Shore of Massachusetts came Frank Bennett’s NADEN [Naden 16; 60-hp Suzuki] who easily got the top spot; and the winner in Work Boat Class C was Dave Johnson’s CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda] from Peaks Island with a speed of 47.4 mph.
In the Gasoline Classes the winner in Class C was Randy Durkee’s BLACK DIAMOND [Holland 32, 454 Chevrolet], who also won the Gasoline Free-for-All.
In the Diesel Classes the winner of Class B all the way from Long Island came Steve Johnson and ADELINE DAWN [32’; 235-hp]; the top boat in Diesel Class C was Steve Osgood’s VENOM [Mussel Ridge 28; 300-hp Sisu] from Vinalhaven with a speed of 35.3 mph; Tony Hooper’s LIBERTY [35’ Ernest Libby, Jr.; 350-hp Caterpillar] took the top spot in Diesel Class D with a speed of 20.9 mph; David Osgood’s SPLIT SECOND [Crowley Beal 33; 450-hp Volvo] won Diesel Class G with a speed of 35 mph; first in Diesel Class H was Travis Otis’ FIRST TEAM [Northern Bay 36; 410-hp Sisu 645] with a speed of 30 mph; Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania] jumped out in front and never looked back winning Diesel Class I with a speed of 39.5 mph; in Diesel Class J Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER [Wayne Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] from Harrington got the win with a winning speed was 42.5 mph; the winner of Diesel Class K was Andrew Taylor’s BLUE EYED GIRL [Morgan Bay 38, 900-hp Scania] with a speed of 44.4 mph; despite having a fuel issue Tom Clemons’ MOTIVATION [Northern Bay 36; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] slide down the course for a first place finish in Diesel Class K; Alan Knowlton’s SEA URCHIN [Young Brothers 45, 425-hp John Deere] took the top spot in Diesel Class M(A) with a speed of 22 mph; and Jason Simmons’ THAT’S MY BOYS [Calvin Beal 44; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] lead the way for a win in Diesel Class N. In the Fastest Friendship Lobster Boat Race Keith Simmons’ ISAAC & COLBY [Wayne Beal 46, 1,400-hp MAN] got the win. In the Diesel Free-for-All and the Fastest Lobster Boat the same three boats went to the line with the same results. The winner was WILD WILD WEST, followed by BLUE EYED GIRL and GOLD DIGGER.
The following weekend we headed to the Harpswell Lobster Boat Races (Sunday, 28 July). What a great day for racing. I worried that Harpswell would be fogged in, but fortunately as we neared Harpswell the fog broke and it was clear sailing the rest of the way. Sign-ups started just after 0800 and it went slow, to point that I started worrying that we were not going to break 30 boats. At about 0900 a number of boats came into the harbor and gave us a total of 38 boats. Just before the start of the races there was a moment of silence for Larry Ward, his father and Galen Alley. Larry was the person you stepped up to run the Harpswell races in 2018, which had not been run since 2013. At the end of the 2017 racing season he found out what he needed to do to make it happen, put together his “Angels” and they were off. Larry and his “Angels” beat the bushes for prizes and racers and the day went off without a hitch. He was working hard on this season, when he passed away late this past winter. Fortunately his “Angels” and friends all stepped up and took over the reigns and did a great job making it happen, all in his memory.
There was just one Gasoline class with no entrants, Class D and there were two in the Diesel Classes: Class E and G. Since there were a number of classes with just one entrant we combined a number of the races. In the Gasoline Classes there was only one entrant in each of the classes so they were run together. In the Diesel Classes we combine Class B, C and D; K and L; and M(A), M(B) and N.
The highlights of the day began with Aran Johnson’s HAZEL B. [Lund 16; 25-hp Evinrude] of Long Island and Amanda Clemons’ [Kencraft 16; 25-hp Yamaha] from Harpswell battling it out in Work Boat Class A with HAZEL B. getting the win. In Work Boat Class B there was a great battle between Frank Bennett’s NADEN, David Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ [Corson 14; 60-hp Johnson], and his son, Jacob’s, ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan], with ZIPPIN getting the win. In Work Boat Class C it was all CASCO MISS.
In WoodenBoat A Trevor Walls’ GRASSHOPPER [Frost 31’; 260-hp Volvo] got the win and also won Diesel Class C. Ann Johansen’s CINDY JEN [34’ Clinton Beal; 292 Chevrolet] took second in Wooden Boat A and won Gasoline Class A. Alan Dugas’ DELUSIONAL [38’ John’s Bay Boat, 600-hp Cummins] crossed the finish line first in Wooden Boat B. Mark Davis’ WHISKEY GIRL [BHM 25; 350 300 hp Chevrolet] won Gasoline Class B and BLACK DIAMOND won Class C. BUD & DAWN showed up despite having lost his high powered Chevrolet engine several weeks ago and won Gasoline Class E. In the Diesel Classes Riley Johnson’s LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu] of Long Island came out for the first time this year and took first in Diesel Class A with a speed of 28 mph. Tim Flynn’s DOTTIE MAE [32’ John Luke; 186-hp Isuzu] was the winner of Diesel Class B. Coming all the way from Scituate, MA was Jeff Patterson’s SIMPLE MAN [Stanley 36; 315-hp Cummins], who won Diesel Class D. Scott Merryman’s K. E. II [Northern Bay 38; 405-hp Cummins] took first in Diesel Class F with a speed of 26.9 mph. In Diesel Class H two boats came to the line: Ben Perry’s MISTRESS [Calvin Beal 38; 500-hp C9 Caterpillar] and Nick Martinez’s PRETTY WOMAN [Calvin Beal 36; 510-hp Caterpillar] with PRETTY WOMAN getting the win. We have not seen Scott Wood’s WILD ONE [Crowley/Beal 33; 892-GM] this year, but he came to Harpswell and faced off against Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania] and just fell short as they finished one–two. GOLD DIGGER got the win in Diesel Class J. There was only one boat in Diesel Class K, BLUE EYED GIRL and one in Diesel Class L, MOTIVATION so each got the win in their respective classes. Wayne Clemons’ TEMPTATION [Young Brothers 40; 730-hp MAN] got the win in Diesel Class M(B) and JACALWA in Diesel Class N. Jesse Mitchell’s PHOENIX [30’ Stanley Greenwood; 130-hp GM] took top honours in the Slowest Boat Race. WILD WILD WEST got the win in Diesel Class O, Diesel Free-for-All and the Fastest Lobster Boat with a top speed of 56 mph.
All in all it was a great day of racing and the parties were legendary. Many of those attending the races headed up and had lunch at either Erica’s Take Out or the Dolphin Restaurant.
The following weekend we had off and then it is onto Winter Harbor on 10 August and the following day we headed to Pemaquid for the Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races. Winter Harbor was giving away a full-sized lobster boat hull, a 35-foot Mitchell Cove. The last time they had one was in 2002 and it drew 130 boats, this time the got 167 boats. There was only one Gasoline Class, Class A, that there were no entrants in. On the other side of the spectrum there were two Classes, M(B) and N+ (45 feet and over) that had so many entrants that they needed to be split up into heats. For the first time in more than 20 years they had an outboard class. The rule was that they had to be over 18 feet in length and have either an electric or hydraulic hauler. There were 11 racers in this class. Over the years they have always had a Lady Skipper’s Race, but this year they had to own the boat and have a lobster fishing license. Another new race this year was Hard Chine Boats, which was dedicated to the memory of Ron Thomas, former owner of R. E. Thomas of Hancock.
It was a great day of racing and the excitement was provided by MARIA’S NIGHTMARE in the final race of the day when she rolled over on her side doing over 55 mph. When she settled back down Jeremy hit the fuel again and over on her side she went again.
This year’s race was dedicated to Keith Young, who ever since the first race at Winter Harbor, has been instrumental in running them. His dedication to the races is why they have been one of the best lobster boat races on the coast.
Some of the highlights of the day were: There were just six boats in the Gasoline Classes. Colyn Rich’s WIDE OPEN [26’ Robert Rich; 350 Chevrolet] won Class B and BLACK DIAMOND won Class C. LITTLE GIRL got the win Class D and the winner of Gasoline Class E was MARIA’S NIGHTMARE. The winner of the Hard Chine Race was Jason Chipman’s MISS AMITY [Mussel Ridge 46; 900-hp Scania]. In the Diesel Classes Jacob Kirby BARE BOTTOM [BHM 25, 220-hp John Deere] got the win the in Class A. The winner of Diesel Class B was Kit Johnson’s MR. LUCKY [Duffy 35; 225-hp John Deere]. In Diesel Class C we saw VENOM got first. The winner of Diesel Class D was Glenn Libby’s SYLVIA JEAN [Libby 34; 300-hp Caterpillar]. HIGH VOLTAGE got the win in Class E. In Diesel Class F AIDEN MARINER was the top boat. In Diesel Class G the win went to Ryan Lemieux’s OBSESSION [Young Brothers 35; 450-hp Volvo] from Cutler who won with a speed of 38.9 mph. The winner of Diesel Class I was Cody Hooper’s LAST ROUND [RP-31. 700-hp Isotta] with a speed of 38.2 mph. GOLD DIGGER got the win in Diesel Class J. MOTIVATION won Diesel Class L and WILD WILD WEST was the winner of Class O with a speed of 52 mph.
The Merritt Brackett Races at Pemaquid drew a large contingent of racers. They are the only race on the coast that is not a points race because they run different classes and that means some racers are not pitted with the same boats they race against the rest of the year. As for the spectators who want to see a race from land this is the best one as they can sit at the fort and the racers come towards them and race by the point and into the harbor.
The winner of the first skiff race of the day was Greg Carter [14’, 25-hp]. In skiff race two the win went to ZIPPIN’. CASCO MISS was going for another win, but ZIPPIN’ TOO beat him across the line in race 3. The winner of 4 and 6 cylinder class was BUD & DAWN. Matthew Taylor’s PRETTY PENNY II [Crowley 28; 205-hp Lugger] won Diesel 176 to 210-hp, 24 feet and over. Don Drisko’s MERGANSER [33’ Calvin Beal Jr.; 230-hp Yanmar] took first in Diesel 211 to 250-hp, 24 feet and over and took first in the Wooden Boat race. In Race 10, Diesel 251 to 350-hp, 24 feet and over, the winner was Raymond Carter’s WHO’S BUYN [Flower 33; 300-hp John Deere]. One of the big winners of the day was Travis Carter’s CANADIAN MIST [38’, 300-hp John Deere], which placed second in Diesel 251 to 350-hp, 24 feet and over and first in the Novi Boats. In Race 11, Diesel 351 to 450-hp, 28 to 39 feet Lucas Cocks’ LAURETTA & AUBREY [Calvin Beal 33; 425-hp Cummins] lead the way to the finish line. In Diesel 451 to 650-hp, 28 feet and over Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania] jumped into the lead and never looked back. Nick Wiberg’s MISS KATIE [Northern Bay 36; 700-hp Volvo] who came up from Stonington to win Diesel 651 to 800-hp, 28 feet and over. Jim Barclay’s LINA ROSE [Calvin Beal 42; 550-hp Nanni] took first in Diesel up to 650-hp, 40 feet and over. Matt Shepherd’s ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere] won Diesel 651 to 800-hp, 40 feet and over with a speed of 31.4 mph. Jason Simmons’ THAT’S MY BOYS [Calvin Beal 44; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] was the winner of Diesel 801-hp and over, 40 feet and over. The big winner of the day was WILD WILD WEST who won Diesel 801-hp and over, 28 feet and over, Diesel Free-for-All and the Fastest Lobster Boat Afloat.
On 17 and 18 August the final two races of the year, Long Island and the MS Harborfest in Portland will conclude the 2019 racing season. No question this has been the best lobster boat racing season to date. We have had great racing and more racers than ever and hopefully the last two races of the season will add to this great year.