Carl Anderson III’s DANICA HAILEY [Calvin Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] and Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER [Wayne Beal 36; 675-hp Scania], have had a great summer of racing together in Diesel Class J. GOLD DIGGER got the win at Portland with DANICA HAILEY second.
The last two lobster boat races of the year (Long Island on Saturday (17 August) and MS Harborfest at Portland on Sunday (18 August)) seemed to have arrived a lot sooner than I expected. To date it has been an excellent year with great competition and a lot more boats competing compared to previous years.
I headed over to Long Island on Friday afternoon for the weekend. Friday evening there was a pre-race party with a number of the island’s racers and residents in attendance. They were selling T-shirts, hoodies and other memorabilia. They were also serving hamburgers, hot dogs, wings and barbeque ribs. The highlight was Steve Johnson’s arrival in his 5-ton Army truck with several racers who had arrived earlier that day for the weekend of racing. Then there was the arrival of a Denver boot, which was going to be applied to Steve’s truck to keep it were it was, but it would not fit.
Saturday morning was overcast and I made several treks around the island on a golf cart before the races. I visited Johnson’s Boat Yard and saw Justin Papkee’s PULL N’ PRAY [Wayne Beal 40; 550-hp Isuzu], which suffered a catastrophic fire almost three month ago. Fortunately she was near the dock at Long Island and everybody got off. Unfortunately the boat suffered extensive damage, along with a number of traps, which were on board. She was salvaged and hauled up at the yard right after the fire and they have begun stripping her and getting her ready to go to Wayne Beal’s Boat Shop in Jonesport to be rebuilt this winter.
Sign-ups started on the ferry dock at about 1300 and there was a steady line until just after 1400 when we closed registration with 46 boats entered. There were some interesting boats that arrived to race. Josh Duym’s DUCHESS [Holland 30; 420-hp Cummins]. DUCHESS was formerly Nick Wiberg’s MISS KATIE, which was a top boat in Diesel Class E for several years. Before Nick owned her it was owned by Josh’s uncle Rusty Duym, who some will remember as a teacher at the Boat School in Eastport and later as a mechanic at Billing’s Diesel and Marine in Stonington. Unfortunately he passed away several years ago. Jake Dugas’ unnamed racer [Mitchell Cove 32; 380-hp Cummins], whose name was later revealed to be QUILTY PLEASURE competed in Diesel Class E. She has an interesting lineage. She was originally owned by Todd Ritchie of Stockton Springs and raced as MISTRESS [440-hp Sisu] from 2002 to 2004. She was sold in state and then out of state, but was brought back to Maine by Ed Shirley of Bucksport in 2014. He repowered her at Johnson’s Boat Yard on Long Island with a 1,000-hp C-18 Caterpillar. She would get up over 40 mph, but never reached the speed they had hoped for. Last year after the Rockland races she suffered a major engine issue and she was done for the year. Ed then sold her to Marshall Spear, who sold the hull to Jake Dugas of Yarmouth and her engine went elsewhere. Another very interesting entrant was KATHLEEN II [Crowley 36; 500-hp Lugger], now owned by Michael Floyd For those that can remember back to 2000 she was finished off by Steve Johnson, who powered her with a 2,500-hp 12-cylinder Rolls Royce/Packard engine, which was constantly thirsty. She raced at Harpswell, Winter Harbor, Pemaquid, but her big race was the last of the season at Searsport when she faced off against Glenn Holland’s RED BARON [Holland 32, 1,100-hp Ford]. She got second in Gasoline Class E to the RED BARON’s first, first in the Boatbuilder’s Exhibition Class, and first in Gasoline Free-for-all with RED BARON second. This set up the final race of the day, the Fastest Lobster Boat. RED BARON had the blower motor from Chief Engines of Florida at this time, and they could change the pulleys and get about 100-hp power, but you were only supposed to do this one time and this was it. They switched the pulleys and won with a speed of 57.8 mph, which set a new record in the gasoline classes in a fantastic race.
With sign-ups done we loaded up and headed out onto the committee boat, Steve Train’s WILD IRISH ROSE.
Despite being overcast it was fine day and after a moment of silence for Galen Alley the races got underway.
Three boats were on the line for Work Boat Class A (Skiffs 16 feet and under, Outboard up to 30 hp, operators up to 16 years old.) and the winner was Aran Johnson in HAZEL B. [Lund 16; 25-hp Evinrude]. Second went to Max Byers’ BUCKET OF HOLES [13’; 20-hp Tohatsu]. At many of the races this year there has been a battle between the two ZIPPINs (David Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ [Corson 14; 60-hp Johnson] and Jacob Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan]) and Frank Bennett’s NADEN [Naden 16; 60-hp Suzuki] in Work Boat Class B (Inboard, Outboard or Outdrive, 31 to 90 hp.). They were on the line again and as they neared the finish line ZIPPIN’ TOO jumped into the lead with ZIPPIN’ just sliding by NADEN. In Work Boat Class C (Inboard, Outboard or Outdrive, 90 hp and over.) the winner was David Johnston’s CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda] with second going to Marshall Spear’s GULL [Webber’s Cove 22; 150-hp Mercury], which he finished off this past winter.
Three boats were on the line for Gasoline Class A (Four and Six Cylinder, 24 feet and over.) and the winner was Will Tierney’s ELIZABETH [Repco 30; 250-hp Chevrolet]. Second went to Ernest Callow’s MISS MARJORIE [General Marine 26; 300-hp Crusader] and third was Ann Johansen’s CINDY JEN [34’ Clinton Beal; 292 Chevrolet]. There were no entrants in Gasoline Class B (V8, Up to 383 cid, 24 feet and over.), but there were two boats on the line for Gasoline Class C (V8, 376 to 525 cid, 24 feet and over.):Randy Durkee’s BLACK DIAMOND [Holland 32, 454 Chevrolet] and Jim Lee’s ROAR [32’ Clinton Beal, 1960; 454 ci Chevrolet]. As there was no one in Class D (V8, 376 cid and over, 24 feet and over (Non-working racer).) and just one entrant in Class E (V8, Over 525 cid, 28 feet and over, Turbos/superchargers, Alcohol and Nitrous.): Steve Johnson’s BUD & DAWN [Jingle Johnson 28; 1,100-hp Chevrolet] they were sent down together. BLACK DIAMOND got the win in Class C and BUD & DAWN in Class E.
Next up was the Diesel Classes. There was only one entrant in Class A (Up to 235 hp, 24 to 31 feet 11 inches.), one in Class B (Up to 235 hp, 32 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.) and two in Class C (236 to 335 hp, 24 to 33 feet 11 inches.) so they were all sent down together. The dominate boat for a number of years in Class A was Steve Johnson’s LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu], which is now owned by Riley Johnson of Long Island and has continued her domination. The winner in Class B was Tim Flynn’s DOTTIE MAE [32’ John Luke; 186-hp Isuzu]. Home from shipping out Adam Kimball brought out his MISS ATTITUDE [Holland 32; 265-hp John Deere] and won Class C with second going to Howard Tolman’s MISS MOLLY [Holland 32; 300-hp Cummins]. There were no entrants in Class D (236 to 335 hp, 34 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.), but there were four on the line in Class E (336 to 435 hp, 24 to 33 feet 11 inches.). The winner of this class was DUCHESS, followed by GUILTY PEASURE and Bob Dugas’ ENDURANCE [Mitchell Cove 32; 350-hp Caterpillar]. Six boats came to the line in Diesel Class F (336 to 435 hp, 34 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.). First over the line was Scott Merryman’s K. E. II [Northern Bay 38; 405-hp Cummins] with Craig Stewart’s CAROL & CO. [Wayne Beal 36; 405-hp Cummins] second and Josh Audet’s KARAMEL [Jim Beal-34; 380-hp Hyundai] third. There were no entrants in Class G (436 to 550 hp, 28 to 35 feet 11 inches.) so next up was Class H (436 to 550 hp, 36 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.). The winner of this class was Rusty Candage’s JUDITH ANN [Crowley 36, 500-hp Cummins] with a speed of 31 mph with KATHLEEN II taking the second position. Scott Wood’s WILD ONE [Crowley/Beal 33; 892-GM] was a frequent racer, but over the last several years comes out only here and there. Her engine was worked on this past winter and at Harpswell she competed against Chris Smith’s MISTY in Class I (551 to 700 hp, 28 to 35 feet 11 inches.) and took second. This day was the re-match and as they came up the course it was close, but as they neared the finish WILD ONE got separation and took the win with a speed of 38 mph. Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER [Wayne Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] won Diesel Class J (551 to 700 hp, 36 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.) with a speed of 41 mph and just back a couple of boat lengths was Carl Anderson III’s DANICA HAILEY [Calvin Beal 36; 675-hp Scania]. Third went to Scott Keenan’s DEAR ABBIE [Northern Bay 38, 700 hp Volvo] from Blue Hill. The closest race of the day was between Andrew Taylor’s BLUE EYED GIRL [Morgan Bay 38, 900-hp Scania] in Class K (701 to 900 hp, 28 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.) and Tom Clemon’s MOTIVATION [Northern Bay 36; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] in Class L (901 hp and over, 28 feet to 39 feet 11 inches.). They came up the course side by side with about half a boat length between their bows with MOTIVATION getting the win with a speed of 44 mph. The winner of Diesel Class M(A) (40 feet and over, up to 500 hp.) was Chris Pope’s OLD SCHOOL [Holland 41; 380-hp Cummins] at 28 mph with second going to Alan Knowlton’s SEA URCHIN [Young Brothers 45, 425-hp John Deere] and third to Tucker Johnson’s MYSTERY [40’ John’s Bay Boat; 405 hp Cummins]. The only entrant in Class N (40 feet and over, 751 hp and over.) was Marshall Spears’ JACALWA [Wesmac 46; 1000-hp Caterpillar] so she ran down the course with the four racers in Diesel Class M(B) (40 feet and over, 501 to 750 hp.). First over the line was JACALWA with a speed of 36 mph and right behind home was Wayne Clemons’ TEMPTATION [Young Brothers 40; 730-hp MAN] getting the win in Class M(B). Second went to Jim Barclay’s LINA ROSE [Calvin Beal 42; 550-hp Nanni] and third was Scott Dugas’ SAND DOLLARS III [41’Johns Bay Boat; 700-hp Caterpillar].
Next up was the two Wooden Boat Classes. The win in Class A (Any hp., up to 35 feet 11 inches.) went to ROAR with second going to CINDY JEN. First in Class B (Any hp., 36 feet and over.) was SAND DOLLARS III, second was DELUSIONAL and third was MYSTERY.
In the Boats Built by Johnson Boat Yard race, first went to CASCO MISS, followed by WILD ONE and LYNN MARIE.
In the Royal River Boat Yard race CARL & CO. was able to keep JACALWA behind him for the win. Third went to Harold Stewart’s DONNA ELAINE [Wayne Beal 36; 405-hp Cummins].
The winning boat in the Gasoline Free-for-All was BLACK DIAMOND, with William Tierney’s ELIZABETH  second and BUD AND DAWN third.
It was no surprise that the top boat in the Diesel Free-for-All was MOTIVATION. BLUE EYED GIRL got second and GOLD DIGGER third.
The final race of the day, Fastest Lobster Boat, saw the top three boats from the Diesel Free-for-All on the line and finished in the same order.
Missing this day was Cameron Crawford’s WILD WILD WEST  and since the lobstering has not been great this year he decided to go out to haul.
When we were done racing at Long Island about 1730 a number of us climbed on board MISS ATTITUDE and headed for Island Lobster Company on Peak’s Island for a pre-race get together for the MS Harborfest Lobster Boat Races. It was a great dinner and there were a number of people there showing support for the MS Harborfest Lobster Boat Races including the staff and guest bartender Tim Flynn.
When the morning arrived we were socked in by fog on Long Island and it was an interesting ride in CINDY JEN to Portland Yacht Services in Portland. When signing up at Long Island I also signed up many of those planning to attend the Portland races. I already had 35 entries in the computer from Long Island so it was a breeze adding in the 16 entries that morning for a total of 51 racers. At about 1000 we boarded the committee boat and headed out to our position on the east side of the finish line. Dave Johnston with CASCO MISS opened the racing, as he did at Long Island, with a moment of silence and the spreading of Galen Alley’s ashes. Dave then got the racing going.
First up was the Work Boat Classes. Coming over from Harpswell Amanda Clemons took her unnamed boat [Kencraft 16; 25-hp Yamaha] to a first place finish with a speed of 21.5 mph in Work Boat Class A. Just like at Long Island the same three racers came to the line in Class B, NADEN, ZIPPIN and ZIPPIN TOO. As they neared the finish line ZIPPIN’ TOO slowed for some reason, allowing ZIPPIN’ to slip by for the win with a speed of 41.4 mph. Third went to NADEN. Looking for his second win of the weekend was CASCO MISS, which he got. Behind him was Edward Apron’s MISS KYLIE [Mirachi; 225-hp Yamaha] and Jim Koehling’s MALAGO [Crowley Beal 23; 150-hp Yamaha], who got second and fourth respectively.
There were just five boats in the Gasoline classes so there were run down together. BUD & DAWN tried to keep pace with BLACK DIAMOND, but BLACK DIAMOND slipped over first getting the win in Class C with BUD & DAWN getting the win in Class E. The winner of Gasoline Class B was Jeff Croft’s TILLY [Brownell; 350 260-hp Mercruiser] and the winner of Class A was CINDY JEN.
Now came the Diesel Classes. Continuing her domination in Class A was LYNN MARIE with second going to Tristan Cloutier’s PERFECT GAME and third was Scott Dyer’s RELENTLESS [BHM 28; 200-hp Yanmar]. There was no entrants in Class B, but in Class C four boats were on the line. MISS ATTITUDE crossed the line first followed by Howard Tolman’s MISS MOLLY [Holland 32; 300-hp Cummins] in second and Burton Rankie’s ACORN [Cape Dory 28; 260-hp Cummins] in third. The winner of Class E was DUCHESS followed by GUILTY PLEASURE in second. The top boat in Class F was K. E. II with second going to KARAMEL and third all the way from Newbury, MA Andrew Haley’s COOT [36-footer; 430-hp Volvo]. There were no entrants in Class G, but there were three in Class H. JUDITH ANN got the win and Nick Martinez’s PRETTY WOMAN [Calvin Beal 36; 510-hp Caterpillar], who did not make the Long Island race, got second. WILD ONE was the only entrant in Class I so he ran down with Class J and got the win in his class. GOLD DIGGER got the win in Class J with DANICA HAILEY second. There was no entrants in Class K and with just MOTIVATION in Class L he ran down with Class M(A). In Class M(A) it was OLD SCHOOL leading the way to the finish line with a speed of 27.8 mph and SEA URCHIN in second and MYSTERY took third. There were six boats on the line for Class M(B) and the top two contenders were LINA ROSE and TEMPTATION. As they came down the course it looked close but as they neared the finish line TEMPTATION had the lead with LINA ROSE second.
The two wooden Boat Classes were run together and in a very close finish it was COOT edging out SAND DOLLARS III for the top spot in Class B with MYSTERY getting third. In Class A it was TILLY out pacing CINDY JEN for the win.
Only two boats came to the line for the Gasoline Free-for-All and the win went to BLACK DIAMOND and BUD & DAWN got second.
The winner of the Diesel Free-for-All was MOTIVATION followed by GOLD DIGGER and DANICA HAILEY.
In the final race of the day and of the year just three boats came to the line and as expected MOTIVATION lead the way to the finish line with GOLD DIGGER second and BUD & DAWN third.
Following the last race of the day four tugs from McAllister came out, one from Providence, Rhode Island, and took the course over and ran two races. It was then back to Portland Yacht Services for the post-race celebration and lunch. This is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and as I read out the winners, handed them their winnings, which was cash, and 98 percent of them put it into the bucket, which went to the MS Society of Maine. There were also a number of prizes donated and these were then auctioned off and that raised another chunk of money for MS. Then we read out the winners of the diesel fuel from Global, which is 100 gallons for each diesel class and the diesel free-for-all. At the end I had four unclaimed certificates which were auctioned off and that raised about $1,000. This concluded the day’s and the year’s lobster boat racing season.
There is no question that this was a great year with more boats than ever racing for the year, 823, compared to last year with 739. The number of boats racing has climbed steadily over the last five years. In 2010 we had a total of 520 competing in 10 races and one can attribute the increased attendance since then to a group of racers that love to compete. There are already rumors of a couple of new boats coming out next year (a Mussel Ridge 28 and a Mitchell Cove 35) and that could create some interesting competition in certain classes depending on what they decide to power with.
With the annual meeting and awards banquet coming up mid-October there has been no changes mentioned as to rules or classes. One minor change will be at sign-ups each skipper will be handed the day’s racing schedule with his race highlighted and there will be no changes made during the races. This is being done to make the races go more smoothly by having any questions answered before the races start.