BOOTHBAY/SOUTHPORT: With all 11 lobster boat races done for the 2019 there was just one event left, The Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, which was held at Robinson’s Wharf on Southport Island on 19 October.
The first order of business was the Annual Meeting, which began at 1700. The meeting started by thanking the sponsors: Elite Airways; New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Scania (Mack Boring). We usually do not confirm sponsors for the next year until the Maine Fisherman’s Forum in March, but we had preliminary conformations that Liferaft Services of York and DC Air of Winter Harbor wanted to be sponsors next year. Chris Byers, owner of DC Air, found me in Winter Harbor a week after the meeting and paid the 2020 sponsorship fee.
As for the Treasurer’s Report: The Association had no receivables, and after the banquet was paid there would be no payables. With everything tallied there was about $1,500 in the checking account going into the 2020 season. The budget for the 2020 season would be: Insurance, $2,000; Posters, $650; Trophies, $1,300; and Banquet, $2,500 for a total of $6,450 and this would be covered by the 2020 sponsors.
After a discussion with a number of people associated with the racing scene as to whether there should be any changes made to the classes or rules the consensus was not to change anything. The membership agreed and there was no other discussion about classes or rules. One minor change will be made to sign ups though. When a racer signs up to compete that day, he receives a scheduled of the day’s events. To eliminate confusion, we are going to mark on this sheet the races he is signed up for with the hope that this will eliminate problems on the race course.
Next came the election of officers for next season. The current officers are: President, Jon Johansen; Vice President, Travis Otis; Treasurer Rachel Elward; and Secretary: Genevieve McDonald-Kurilec. The attending members were asked if anyone wanted to volunteer for any of the positions. With no one stepping forward, the slate of present officers was put forth as read for the 2020 season and voted on by the members with all in favour.
The last item on the agenda was the 2020 schedule, which is:
20 Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Races
21 Rockland Lobster Boat Races
28 Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races
4 Moosebec Reach Lobster Boat Races
12 Stonington Lobster Boat Races
19 Friendship Lobster Boat Races
26 Harpswell Lobster Boat Races
8 Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races
15 Long Island Lobster Boat Races
16 MS Harborfest Lobster Boat Races (Portland)
16 Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races (Pemaquid)
17 Awards Banquet & Dinner (Robinson’s Wharf, Southport)
One discussion took place around the Moosabec and Stonington races, which we would have liked to put on the same weekend. 4 and 5 July. The Moosabec committee said that they were concerned about fog and having the Stonington races the following day would not give them a rain date that weekend. They added that some racers might not come back the following weekend, which is probably an accurate assessment. This was agreed to by the membership and Moosabec will race on 4 July and Stonington on 12 July. Now a bigger problem existed with the Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races in Pemaquid, which normally takes place on the day following Winter Harbor. However, because Saturday is the first day of the month the Town of Bristol does not count that as a full weekend and thus the races will fall on the MS Harborfest races in Portland. Unfortunately, we cannot change either event as the MS Harborfest race is part of the Harborfest weekend, which raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Maine; and The Merritt Brackett Races is held with Old Bristol Days. This conflict will happen again next year when the first is on Sunday and then not until 2026. It is unfortunate as both races will lose competitors.
With the meeting adjourned dinner was served, which was excellent once again. Everyone had an great time and the following week I was seeing people around the coast who were still raving about the banquet, saying it was the best ever. Those looking for a great place to have an event call Robinson’s Wharf and ask for Rachel. We liked it so much we have already agreed to return there for next year’s banquet.
When the party slowed at Robinson’s many returned to the Tugboat Inn where they were staying and continued having a great time. When that close they headed downtown.
The next meeting will not take place until the Maine Fisherman’s Forum at the Samoset Inn in Rockport this coming March. This meeting will be coupled with a talk on some of the historic photographs from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection in Searsport. Hope to see you there!