ROCKLAND-BASS HARBOR – As winter was nearing an end, with spring close at hand, many in the commercial fishing industry headed for the Maine Fishermen’s Forum at Rockland the first weekend of March. Most realized that there was an issue, but we never realized how big an issue this was going to become. The issue was the Corona 19 Virus and when it was all said and done, we had lost five races (Boothbay, Harpswell, Long Island, Pemaquid and Stonington).
Over the winter there were a number of new lobster boats built and it was known a few of them would come out for the races. The first to go over was Randy Durkee’s AUDREY MAY [Holland 32; 425-hp Cummins] early last fall. Late last fall we knew that Gary Genthner had purchased a Mussel Ridge 28 hull, but it was not known what she would have for power. At sign up for the Rockland races we learned she had a 550-hp Iveco.
We were hoping to see Tim Toppins’ new boat, a Mitchell Cove 35, but it was not yet done.
Ed Shirley purchased a used Holland 32 late in 2018. She came out with her original engine, a 148-hp Volvo, and just did not have enough power to be competitive in Diesel Class B. Early last fall Ed began researching for what he should put in and settled on a 430-hp Cummins and will now compete in Diesel Class E.
When racing was done last year, Jeremy Beal put up for sale the big 2,500-hp alcohol engine he was using in MARIA’S NIGHTMARE [Mussel Ridge (ex-Wayne Beal) 28]. About mid-winter he decided that he was going to put in a diesel and settled on a 600-hp Cummins, which puts him in Diesel Class I.
During the winter Tom Clemons decided to sell MOTIVATION [Northern Bay 36; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] to Alfred Osgood of Vinalhaven. She is having some minor changes made at Mainely Boat in Cushing and will be repowered with the 900+-hp Mack that was formerly in STARLIGHT EXPRESS. They had hoped to have her by Rockland, but unfortunately time did not allow that happen.
The impact of the Virus buried C&C Machine in Ellsworth with a lot of work, which is owned by Glen Crawford. That meant that he had no time to work on WILD WILD WEST [West 28; 1,050-hp Isotta], so she was a no-show for the first two races.
The first three races of the day were for skiffs. There was just one boat in Class A (Skiffs 16-feet and under with outboards up to 30 hp, Operator 18 years and younger), JENILY, operated by Jennifer & Emily Noyes of Harpswell. Their white boat is covered with hand prints, which are actually their hand prints in all sorts of colours. Their brother, Jacob, would win Class B (Inboards, outboards or outdrives, 31 to 90 hp) in ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan], followed by his father, David, in ZIPPIN’ [Corson 14; 60-hp Johnson] in second. Frank Bennett of Newbury, MA came in a new boat, an 18-foot Lund with a 90-hp Honda, and took third. In Class C (Inboards, outboards or outdrives, 91 hp and up) the winner was David Johnston’s CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda].
There are five Gasoline Classes, but there were only three boats entered in three different classes. In Class A was Jon Johansen’s CINDY JEN [34’ Clinton Beal, 1964; 292 Chevrolet]; Class B Colyn Rich’s WIDE OPEN [26’ Robert Rich; 350 Chevrolet] and Class C Lindsay Durkee’s BLACK DIAMOND [Holland 32, 454 Chevrolet]. They were run together and it was a close battle between WIDE OPEN and BLACK DIAMOND, with WIDE OPEN coming over the line first. However, they all got first place in their class. Robert Curtis in INDIAN OUTLAW [Holland 22; I/O: 170-hp GMC] tried to sneak into the Gas races, but should have been in Work Boat Class C, since he is not 24-feet in length and thus was disqualified.
There are 16 Diesel Classes and only two, Class L (901 hp, 28 feet and over) and Class O (Non-working boats, any length, any horsepower) did not have an entrant. Two boats were on the line for Class A (Up to 235 hp, 24 to 31 feet), which was won by Kevin Hornsby’s HIGH HOPES [Osmond 27; 225-hp John Deere] over Gary Hatch’s QUEEN’S LADY [29’Rockland Boat; 220-hp John Deere]. Three boats were entered in Class B (Up to 235 hp, 32 feet and over), which was won by Don Drisko’s MERGANSER [33’ Calvin Beal Jr.; 230-hp Yanmar]. Second went to Bill Oliver’s KAREN LYNN [South Shore 34; 220-hp John Deere] and third, after being totally rebuilt this past winter, was Wayne Rich’s RICH RETURNS [38’ Robert Rich; 210-hp Cummins]. Class C has been dominated by three boats (Roy Fagonde’s LAST DESIGN [E. Libby, Jr., 31; 300-hp Caterpillar]; Steven Osgood’s VENOM [Mussel Ridge 28; 300-hp Sisu] and Daniel Eaton’s WHITE LIGHTING [AJ 28; 305-hp Cummins]) the last few seasons. Only LAST DESIGN and VENOM were entered and it was a real close battle and at the line it was LAST DESIGN crossing first for the win. There was just one entrant in Class D (236 to 335 hp, 34 feet over) Kaleb Campbell’s BRIELLA GRACE [Duffy 35, 300-hp Cummins]. He was combined with Class C and was awarded first in his class. There were five boats on the line for Class E (336 to 435 hp, 24 to 33 feet). It would be the first race for MISS KYLEE and AUDREY MAY, who was going up against Dan Sawyer’s HIGH VOLTAGE [AJ-28; 400-hp Yanmar], which dominated this class last year. MISS KYLEE streaked up the course and got the win by a boat length over HIGH VOLTAGE with AUDREY MAY in third. Three boats were entered in Class F (336 to 435 hp, 34 feet and over), which was won by Winfred Alley’s AIDEN MARINER [Calvin Beal 34; 425-hp Cummins] with Avery Waterman’s SOUTHERN COMFORT [Mitchell Cove 35; 405-hp Cummins] second. Class G (436 to 550 hp, 28 to 35 feet) has been dominated by Dana Beal’s RIGHT STUFF [Libby 34; 500 hp Cummins] the last couple of years. However, LIL’ LISA MARIA should give him a serious challenge. As they neared the line, LIL’ LISA MARIE looked to be in the lead, but RIGHT STUFF kept gaining and at the line she just slipped by LIL’ LISA MARIE for the win. In Class H (436 to 550 hp, 36 feet and over) there were eight entrants and first over the line was Jeremy Tyler’s ALL IN [Northern Bay 38, 500 hp Volvo], followed by Kyle Look’s RISKY BUSINESS [Crowley 36; 550-hp John Deere] and Rusty Candage’s JUDITH ANN [Crowley 36, 500-hp Cummins] in third. In Class I (551 to 700 hp, 28 to 35 feet) Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania] has been the dominate boat for a number of years, but he was going to have a serious challenge from MARIA’S NIGHTMARE. MARIA’S NIGHTMARE came over the line first with MISTY back about two boat lengths and in third was Keaveny Tyler’s SEA BORNE [Duffy 35; 610-hp Cummins]. No one was surprised to see Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER [Wayne Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] leading Class J (551 to 700 hp, 36 feet and over). Second went to Scott Keenan’s DEAR ABBIE [Northern Bay 38, 700 hp Volvo] and third was Nathan Thompson’s EASY MONEY [Calvin Beal 36; 490-hp Cummins]. One of the fastest boats entered at the Rockland races would be Andrew Taylor’s BLUE EYED GIRL [Morgan Bay 38, 900-hp Scania] in Class K (701 to 900 hp, 28 feet and over) and she got an easy win over Colby Oakes’ TRIPLE X [Mitchell Cove 35, 850-hp Detroit] with a speed of 49 mph. In Class M(A) (40 feet and over, up to 500 hp) it was Chris Pope’s OLD SCHOOL [Holland 41; 380-hp Cummins] getting the win over Alan Knowlton’s SEA URCHIN [Young Brothers 45, 425-hp John Deere]. The big battle last year in Class M(B) (40 feet and over, 501 to 750 hp) was between Eric Beal’s KIMBERLY ANN [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp FPT] and Jason Chipman’s MISS AMITY [Osmond 42; 700-hp Scania]. Jason built a new boat that premiered last year, another MISS AMITY [Mussel Ridge 46; 900-hp Scania], and has decided to race her this year, which puts him in Class N (40 feet and over; 750 hp and over). Another top boat in Class M(B) is Matt Shepherd’s ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere], but he just did not have enough to best KIMBERLY ANN. Third went to David Ames’ RENEGADE [Mussel Ridge 42; 750-hp John Deere]. There were nine boats on the line for Class N, which was won by MISS AMITY with Murray Thompson’s SUNDAY MONEY [Duffy 42; 1000-hp Caterpillar] second and Tad Miller’s MALLARY SKY [Wayne Beal 40; 1000-hp Caterpillar] third.
The winner of the Gasoline Free-for-All was WIDE OPEN followed by BLACK DIAMOND and a very distant third was CINDY JEN.
In the Diesel Free-for-All it was going to be a great battle between BLUE EYED GIRL and MARIA’S NIGHTMARE, as both were running about 50 mph. Both were stem to stem coming up the course, but BLUE EYED GIRL gained separation and crossed first. Third went to GOLD DIGGER.
In Wooden Boat (A) (up to 35 feet 11 inches) it was WIDE OPEN, MERGANSER and QUEEN’S LADY. In Wooden Boat (B) Vance Bunker’s SARI ANN [42’Johns Bay Boat; 660-hp Volvo] got first followed by RICH RETURNS.
Now came the Fastest Lobster Boat, but BLUE EYED GIRL did not come to the line. MARIA’S NIGHTMARE got the win, followed by GOLD DIGGER and KIMBERLY ANN.
The following day, 28 June, were headed to Bass Harbor. The day started with fog, but it lifted enough to safely hold the races. With the concerns over the Virus, everything was done outside the harbor on a barge and when they were done we had 49 boats entered.
It was really surprising to see just one boat entered in the three Work Boat Classes. Ryan Mitchell’s SUMMER GIRL [Novi; 90-hp Honda] was in Class B and ran up the course by himself.
In the Gasoline Classes there were just two entrants WIDE OPEN in Class B and BLACK DIAMOND in Class C. They ran up together and this time it was BLACK DIAMOND with the win, but each got first in their class.
In the Diesel Classes there were no entrants again in Class L and O. There were just two boats in Class A, which was a great battle between two Downeast racers: Jacob Kirby’s BARE BOTTOM [BHM 25, 220-hp John Deere] and Josef Guptil’s HOT SHOT [Osmond 27, 220-hp John Deere], which was won by BARE BOTTOM. Everett Beers’ MISS KARI LYNN [Mitchell Cove 32; 220-hp John Deere] cross the line first in Class B, with RICH RETURNS second. A re-match from Rockland was between LAST DESIGN and VENOM, but today VENOM got the win by two boat lengths. Since there was just one boat in Class D, Conner Rossi’s ELLEN LOUISE [RP 35; 300-hp John Deere], she ran down with Class C and got the win in her class. Nine boats were on the line for Class E, including Alan Johnson’s CATHERINE ELIZABETH [AJ 28, Yanmar], which had been launched this spring. This was going to be an interesting race as Kenton Feeney’s BAD INFLUENCE [Holland 32, 350-hp Yanmar] has always been a top boat in this class. When the flag dropped VENOM jumped into the lead with MISS KYLEE and BAD INFLUENCE right on her transom. The real battle now was for second and just slipping over for that position was BAD INFLUENCE with MISS KYLEE third. AIDEN MARINER got the win over Nathan Snow’s MORE MIS CHIF [Osmond 36; 375-hp John Deere] in Class F. LIL’ LISA MARIE was a no-show for Class G, but Steve Carver was there with ANOTHER DIRLS [Holland 35, 550-hp John Deere] as was George Lawson’s MISS BETH II [Mitchell Cove 35; 375-hp John Deere] and RIGHT STUFF. RIGHT STUFF jumped right into the lead with ANOTHER DIRLS back a couple of boats lengths and MISS BETH II just behind her and that is how they came across the line. In Class H RISKY BUSINESS took first with Travis Otis’ FIRST TEAM second. Another re-match from the previous day took place between MARIA’S NIGHTMARE and MISTY with MARIA’S NIGHTMARE getting the win once again. Four boats were on the line for Class J and it was all GOLD DIGGER. Second went to Mack Kelley’s FIFTH GENERATION [Calvin Beal 36; 600-hp Caterpillar] and third was EASY MONEY. It has been 11 years since Ira Guptil has raced his MYSTERY MACHINE [Northern Bay 38]. Since then he repowered with a 750-hp John Deere and was now in Class K. He faced off against Duncan Haass’ NAVIGATOR [Calvin Beal 36; 750-hp MAN] and got the win. Just three boats were on the line for Class M(A) and again it was OLD SCHOOL getting the win albeit real close. Second went to Aaron Beal’s NIGHT MOVES II [RP40; 455-hp QSM 11 Cummins] and third was Chris Goodwin’s DREW & HENRY [Osmond 40; 500-hp John Deere]. Seven boats were on the line for Class M(B) and it was a close battle between KIMBERLY ANN and ALEXSA ROSE, but ALEXSA ROSE just did not have enough to get by. Third went to Roman Jordan’s AMP [Osmond 40, 750-FPT]. In Class N we all expected to see MISS AMITY out in front, but she was in a tight battle with Joshua Beal’s KAYLA ANN [Calvin Beal 44; 1,000-hp MAN]. However, on the left side of the course, Ken Gieger’s SHE’S ALL WET [Osmond 40; 800-hp Scania] snuck by both of them for the win with MISS AMITY second and KAYLA ANN third.
There was only one boat entered in each of the Wooden Boat Classes, WIDE OPEN in (A) and RICH RETURNS in (B). They came up the course together with each getting the win in their respective classes.
WIDE OPEN was back down to the startling line for the Gasoline Free-for-All, but she fell just short as BLACK DIAMOND again got the win.
Seven boats were on the line for the Diesel Free-for-All and it was no surprise to see MARIA’S NIGHTMARE leading them to the finish. Second went to GOLD DIGGER and in third was KIMBERLY ANN.
In the Fastest Lobster Boat Race the spectators were surprised to see GOLD DIGGER slipping by for the win with MARIA’S NIGHTMARE second. Third went to ALEXSA ROSE.
In the final race of the day, Bass Harbor’s Fastest Lobster Boat, first went to WIDE OPEN, followed by MISS BETH II and Parker Murphy’s TURN THE PAIGE [OEM 42, 751-hp John Deere] third.
At the end of the first weekend of racing we were still scheduled to race at Moosabec Reach (4 July), Friendship (19 July); Winter Harbor (8 August); Long Island (15 August) and Portland (16 August). The Long Island races were in the hands of the selectmen as to whether they will run or not. The MS Society no longer is involved in HarborFest and that has created some confusion. Portland is running and will be raising money for another cause that will be fishermen related.
MOOSABEC – The Moosabec Lobster Boat Races, held between Beals Island and Jonesport about the 4th of July, has a major concern every year, fog. Over the years when the race committee gathered on the scheduled day for the races there were times when the Reach was shrouded in thick fog. I remember one year where the races had to be stopped with just a couple of races to go. Several of us went back the next day to finish the races left and I got my first ride on Andrew Gove’s UNCLE’S UFO [Northern Bay 36; 900-hp Mack] in the World’s Fastest Lobster Boat Race. Despite going over 50 mph, we crossed second with Glenn Holland’s RED BARON [Holland 32, 1,100-hp Ford] getting first, but what a memory.
When leaving Winterport on race day it did not look hopeless, but there was plenty of fog here and there as I made my way down to Jonesport. When I arrived at the Reach I could easily see across to Beals Island and I could see all the way out to the east’ard. We were good to go.
With everything going on with the Virus the race committee had already gathered over 60 entrants so there were not many at the sign ups. We set up in the parking lot of Camden National Bank and signed up another 20 so when done we had 81 boats registered.
The only new boat, and it was as new as they get having been launched the day before, was MELYNDA M. [Wayne Beal 36; 500-hp FTP], owned by Willie Coombs. Another one we had not seen before was Jason West’s PIER PRESSURE [Osmond 40, 750-hp FTP].
The first race was an exhibition race for recreational boats, which was won by Kraig Church in EGAD.
There did not seem to be as many skiffs this year with just five coming to the line in Work Boat Class A. Well out in front was Karli Alley’s GRAMPIE ORDMAN [16-foot Princecraft; 25-hp Yamaha] coming across the line with a speed of 24.3 mph. She was followed by Noah Carver’s DAWN TREADER [Starcraft 16; 25-hp Mariner]. Last year the finish in Class B was real close with the bows separated by maybe 12 inches. Ralph Davis and ALPEX [16’, 90 hp Johnson] has been the dominate boat in this class for 20 years and only twice did he not place first. Before the race he said they were gunning for him, but as they came up the course it was all ALPEX with a boat length lead. Second went to Ned Merchant, Jr.’s THE BOY [16’; 90-hp Mercury] and third was Dennis McComack’s BIG ENOUGH [Mako 19, 90-hp Yamaha]. In Class C there were eight boats on the line. Marcus Fenton’s BANDIT [Northern Bay 20; 300-hp Yamaha] came across the line first, but no one on the committee boat know who the second boat was. Third went to Ian Alley’s HELPFUL HENRY [Privateer 18; 125-hp Mercury].
There were three boats signed up in the Gasoline Classes, all in different classes. In Class A was Joseph McDonald’s MISS KHRISTI; in Class B was WIDE OPEN; and in Class C was BLACK DIAMOND. There were no entrants in Class D or Class E. The three were run together with another great battle between BLACK DIAMOND and WIDE OPEN with WIDE OPEN coming across the line first with a speed of 32.9 mph. MISS KHRISTI came across third with a speed of 13.2 mph.
Next came the Diesel Classes and just Class L did not have an entrant. Five boats were on the line for Class A and last year Calvin Beal, Jr.’s JEANINE MARIE [Calvin Beal 30; 235-hp Cummins] got the win, which he repeated again this year with a speed of 32.4 mph. It was a real close battle for second, but at the line second went to BARE BOTTOM with HOT SHOT back a couple of feet in third. Two boats were on the line for Class B with the win going to Earl Faulkingham’s ALL NINE & A SAILOR [Young Brothers 38; 220-hp John Deere] with Kenneth Frisbee, Jr.’s PAPA’S DREAM [36-foot] coming across in second. With just one boat in Class C LAST DESIGN she was combined with the three boats in Class D, LAST DESIGN flew up the course with a speed of 39.2 mph. First in Class D for the third year was Glenn Libby’s SYLVIA JEAN [Libby 34; 300-hp Caterpillar]. He was followed over by Jeremy Chandler’s KINSLEY-MAE ROSE [Libby 38; 300-hp Caterpillar]. Four boats were signed up for Class E, but just three came to the line and it was going to be a great battle between HIGH VOLTAGE and BAD INFLUENCE. These two battled at Bass Harbor with HIGH VOLTAGE getting by for a one-boat length win. As they worked their way up the course it was close, but it looked as though HIGH VOLTAGE was ahead by a few feet, which she held right across the finish line with a speed of 40.3 mph. Third went to AUDREY MAY. Was anyone going to be able to challenge AIDEN MARINER in Class F? Four boats were on the line, but no one had anything for AIDEN MARINER. The real battle was between Alonzo Alley’s CALYPSO [Osmond 35; 405-hp Cummins] and Ralph Backman, Sr.’s TEACHER’S PET [Calvin Beal 36; 420-hp Cummins]. They were bow to bow, but as they neared the finish line CALYPSO slid into the lead by half a boat length. Three boats were on the line for Class G, but no one had anything for RIGHT STUFF as he crossed the line with a two-boat length lead. Second went to Ryan Lemieux’s OBSESSION [Young Brothers 35; 450-hp Volvo] followed by ANOTHER DIRLS. How would Willie Coombs’ new boat MELYNDA M. do against Dean Beal’s MISS NORMA [Wayne Beal 36; 480-hp Cummins] in Class H? When the flag dropped MISS NORMA jumped right into the lead and lead the way to the finish line with a speed of 36.8 mph. Back about two boat lengths was MELYNDA M. followed by RISKY BUSINESS. The only entrant in Class I was MARIA’S NIGHTMARE so she came down with the two entrants, GOLD DIGGER and Nathan Thompson’s EASY MONEY [Calvin Beal 36; 490-hp Cummins] in Class J and the single entrant, MYSTERY MACHINE in Class K. First over the line was MARIA’S NIGHTMARE with a speed of 50.1 mph, followed by GOLD DIGGER, the winner of Class J and MYSTERY MACHINE in Class K. Seven boats were on the line for Class M(A) and when the flag dropped on the starter boat Milton Merchant’s MISS TONIA [Libby 41; 500-hp Cummins] jumped into the lead. Now the battle was between three boats as to who would be getting second. Halfway up the course Mitchell Beal’s BUKIE & TUKIE [Wayne Beal 40, 500-hp Deutz] got a boat length lead as the other two, Aaron Beal’s NIGHT MOVES II [RP40; 455-hp QSM 11 Cummins] and Patrick Kelley’s FEELIN’ NAUTI [Osmond 40; 405-hp Cummins] stayed bow to bow. At the line NIGHT MOVES II had slipped by FEELIN; NAUTI for third. There were 10 boats signed up for Class M(B) so they were split up into two heats with the first three going on to the finals. With the six boats on the line for the finals the started boat got them running, but could not drop the flag as they were not lined up fairly so they called a re-start. On the next attempt they were lined up better and the flag dropped. As they made their way up the course, KIMBERLY ANN went dead in the water as the others sped by. The fight for first was now between ALEXSA ROSE and PIER PRESSURE, which went to PIER PRESSURE by a boat-length. Then as those on the committee boat turned to see who was third here comes KIMBERLY ANN and she was coming fast, but just did not have enough course as she settled for fifth with third going to Dixon Smith’s SIZE MATTERS [Libby 45’ 3”; 750-hp Iveco] and fourth to Dean Barrett’s GRIN & BARRETT [Young Brothers 40; 610-hp Cummins]. There were 11 boats signed up for Class N (40 feet and over, 750 hp and over) so again we ran two heats with a final run-off. The finals were going to be a close race and as they came up the course the four leaders were within a boat-length of each other. The win went to SHE’S ALL WET followed by MISS AMITY in second, Robert Alley, Jr.’s HANNAH LOUISE [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp John Deere] third and KAYLA ANNE fourth. After missing the first three races, Cameron Crawford’s WILD WILD WEST made their first appearance of the year. They were the only entrant in Class O and ran up the course by themselves.
Next up was the Wooden Boat races and the only entrant was in A and that was WIDE OPEN.
Just two boats were on the line for the Gasoline Free-for-All and first over the line was BLACK DIAMOND with WIDE OPEN right on her stern.
Nine boats came to the line for the Diesel Free-for-All. We could guess who was getting first and second, WILD WILD WEST and MARIA’S NIGHTMARE and that is what happened. The battle for third was close but at the line RIGHT STUFF slipped over for third followed by GOLD DIGGER a half of a boat length back.
In the World’s Fastest Working Lobster Boat GOLD DIGGER and RIGHT STUFF were ready for battle again. It was close as they came off the line, but as they made their way up the course RIGHT STUFF began slipping by and won by a boat length. Third went to PIER PRESSURE.
In the final race of the day, World’s Fastest Recreational Lobster Boat, just two boats were on the line, WILD WILD WEST and MARIA’S NIGHTMARE. In a cloud of smoke WILD WILD WEST jumped into the lead and did not look back with the best speed of the day at 59.9 mph. However, it was rumoured that their GPS said 62 mph so will the Diesel Record of 60.6 mph set at Bass Harbor in 2016 fall this year?
FRIENDSHIP – I have a lot more appreciation for those that come from any distance to compete in the lobster boat races. On Saturday I hoped to take CINDY JEN to Friendship for the races, but Penobscot Bay was fogged in. With no radar I decided it would not be prudent to go. I had already put a car in Friendship so it was off to Friendship and retrieve the car. Came back, sea trialed the boat and in changing the filters Travis Otis found the fitting going into the carb was stripped. Exhausted all options for a replacement part, last option JB Weld. Since CINDY JEN cruises at 12 knots it would take just under four hours to make the run. Ed Upham volunteered to take the boat to Friendship as I needed to be there at 0800 for sign ups.
What a great day for racing: hot and hazy, but with a nice cool sou’west breeze. When sign-ups were finished we had 52 boats, but where was GOLD DIGGER and WILD WILD WEST? We had a half dozen classic wooden lobster boats show up, along with a couple of new ones; some very close races and a couple of unfortunate engine issues. The hit on the prize float and in the registration gift bag was the roll of toilet paper.
There was just one entrant in the first race of the day, Work Boat Class A JENILY, which ran the course by themselves at a speed of 30.1 mph. In Work Boat Class B it has been a competition between father and son and today the son, in ZIPPIN’ TOO took the win over ZIPPIN’. Third went to MISS DIANE. Always the dominate boat in Work Boat Class C is CASCO MISS, but today he got a real challenge from DELUSIONAL, which just did not have enough to keep up with CASCO MISS.
There were four boats in the five Gasoline Classes so they were run down together. The question was in Gas Class C where BLACK DIAMOND would compete with Jim Lee’s ROAR [32’ Clinton Beal, 1960; 454 ci Chevrolet] as they were the only two in the same class. As they came up the course BLACK DIAMOND was leading the way with ROAR back a couple of boat lengths. She was followed by Michael Clayton’s J. T. BEAN [34’ Vinal Beal, 1959; 350 Mercruiser], who was the winner of Gas Class B, and still further back was CINDY JEN, which won Gas Class A. There were no entrants in Gas Classes D and E.
There were no entrants in the first Diesel Class, Class A, but there was two on the line for Class B. On the line was MERGANSER and Adrien Phaenephom’s NEVER ENDING [36-foot Lash, 1978; 220-hp John Deere]. When the flag dropped MERGANSER jumped out into the lead and never looked back with a speed of 28.3 mph. So far this year LAST DESIGN and VENOM has faced off twice with each winning a race. The question was who was going to come out on top today? As they came up the course they were close, but it looked as though LAST DESIGN had the advantage. However, about 200 yards from the finish he slowed and went dead with smoke coming from under the shelter. VENOM went on for the win and then returned to tow his advisory from the course. Second went to Sam Lash’s BEVERLY JOYCE [RP 31; 265-hp John Deere]. There was just one entrant, Ryan Maloney’s MALONEY TRADITION [37 Osmond; 330-hp] in Diesel Class D so she ran down with Diesel Class E, but still got first in his class. Class E had two boats, HIGH VOLTAGE and MISS KYLEE, which had gone head to head twice with each getting a win. When the flag dropped HIGH VOLTAGE slowly edged out in front with MISS KYLEE on his stern and they finished one-two with HIGH VOLTAGE getting the win. Third went to AUDREY MAY. Three boats were on the line for Diesel Class F and no one had anything for AIDEN MARINER as she led the way to the finish. Second went Josh Audet’s KARAMEL [Jim Beal-34; 380-hp Hyundai] and third was Craig Stewart’s CARL & CO. [Wayne Beal 36; 405-hp Cummins]. RIGHT STUFF has been fighting off the high powered 28s in Diesel Class G, but would he today? It was another close one, but as they neared three-quarters way RIGHT STUFF pulled into the lead with LIL’ LISA MARIE losing ground as RIGHT STUFF went on for the win. Third went to one of the new boats, Keith Simmons’ HEATHER’S BOYS [Mussel Ridge 28; 450-hp Duramax], which was just launched from Friendship Boat Works. There was just one entrant in Diesel Class H, FIRST TEAM, which came down with Diesel Class I. In Class I there were just two boats MARIA’S NIGHTMARE and MISTY and it was MARIA’S NIGHTMARE getting the win. There were no entrants in Diesel Class J, but three lined up for Diesel Class K. Jeff Eaton and LA BELLE VITA [Northern Bay 38; 750-hp FPT] made their first appearance of the year, but just did not have enough to get by BLUE EYED GIRL. Third went to Ronald Hall’s HEIDI MACKENZIE, JR. [Mitchell Cove 35; 705-hp Caterpillar]. There were no entrants in Diesel Class L, but there were five on the line for Diesel Class M(A). The boat to beat in this Class has been OLD SCHOOL, but he had some unknown competition. Would one of them be able to get by him? OLD SCHOOL quickly got the lead, with Michael Cushman’s RYLEEFINN [Osmond 42; 500-hp Hyundai] in his wake. They finished one-two with third going to SEA URCHIN. Unlike Downeast where Diesel Class M(B) has so many entrants and needs to be split up into heats, we had just three boats on the line. KIMBERLY ANN had a rough time at the Moosabec Races when his throttle let go in the finals. Today he had no problems and flew up the course at 36.6 mph. Second went to ALEXSA ROSE and third was Eric Harjula’s NOAH & LILY [RP 40; 750-hp John Deere]. The dominate boat in Diesel Class N at Friendship is Keith Simmons’ ISAAC & COLBY [Wayne Beal 46, 1,400-hp MAN], but he could have a challenge from Eugene Harrington’s brand new boat SALT SHAKER [Mussel Ridge 42; 1,000-hp MAN]. It was close, but ISAAC & COLBY won by a boat length. Third went to Jeromy Simmons’ AVERY & ALDEN [Calvin Beal 42; 900-hp Scania]. With no WILD WILD WEST there were no entrants in Diesel Class O.
There was a special race this year sponsored by Mid Coast Diesel called the Hyundai Race for those powered with Hyundai engines. Four boats were registered, but just three came to the line. The winner was KARAMEL with a speed of 25 mph.
Next came the Fastest Friendship Lobster Boat Race and this was pitting ISAAC & COLBY and SALT SHAKER once again. As these two came up the course it was obvious that this was close and as they neared the finish line it looked like they were bow to bow. The judges were on the line and the call was ISAAC & COLBY by a mere two feet. Fortunately someone had the forethought to video the finish and this showed what the judges had called. Third went to AVERY & ALDEN.
In the Gasoline Free-for-All BLACK DIAMOND smoked poor CINDY JEN.
Five boats came to the line for the Diesel Free-for-All, but there was no MARIA’S NIGHTMARE. So the odds on favourite was BLUE EYED GIRL with the question being who would get second. BLUE EYED GIRL did not disappoint the crowd and neither did the battle for second, which went to KIMBERLY ANN just beating out LA BELLA VITA.
There was no question that MERGANSER would be the top boat in the Wooden Boat Race A and she would be followed by ROAR and then J. T. BEAN, which is just how the top three finished. The only boat in Wooden Boat B was NEVER ENDING.
The top three boats in the Diesel Free-for-All lined up for the Fastest Lobster Boat Race. When the flag dropped there was some confusion and a restart was called. Even though they did not stop and came across the finish line the race committee asked if they would like to run it again, which they agreed to. So back down they went, lined up again, and got a good start with BLUE EYED GIRL getting the win followed by KIMBERLY ANN and LA BELLE VITA.
It was a great day out on the water while those ashore sweltered in the heat. Now it is on to Winter Harbor on 8 August, which is always a great time. Hope to see you there!