Andrew Taylor’s BLUE EYED GIRL and Mark Freeman’s FOOLISH PLEASURE in the best finish yet this year.
POTT’S HARBOR, HARPSWELL – Just after drowning at the Friendship lobster boat races, the weather forecast was again for rain at the Harpswell races on 25 July. Amazingly the weathermen were right, but fortunately there was only a brief heavy shower.
Signups were constant and were still ongoing as we made our way out to the finish line boat.
When all was said and done there were 37 boats entered and that would mean we would be combining some of the races.
During the first three races, Work Boat, the race committee held their breath as the little boats had a wild time getting to the finish line upright. There was a good breeze out of the sou’west and that was causing a two three-foot chop. There was only one entrant in Class A (Skiffs 16 feet and under, Outboard up to 30 hp, operators up to 16 years old), JENILY [Corson 14; 30-hp Johnson], Jennifer and Emily Noyes of Harpswell, fights their way through the chop with a speed of 15.3 mph. In Class B (Inboard, Outboard or Outdrive, 31 to 90 hp) there were five boats at the start and the early favorite was ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan], Jacob Noyes as he has been the boat to beat. When the flag dropped they hit the throttle and it was obvious that they were having a problem keeping it in the corner. How far would they dare to push and with the wind on the nose could they keep it upright? Andy Correa [Boston Whaler] had the lead, but right behind him was MISS DIANE III [Lund 18; 90-hp Honda], Griffin Fogerty of Newburyport, MA, ZIPPIN’ TOO and BAD POTATO, David Brewer. Then ZIPPIN’ TOO slowed, but the others kept in the throttle as much as they dared with Andy Correa crossing first; followed by BAD POTATO and then MISS DIANE. Following the race Andy showed that he had broken his seat in half bouncing over the waves. In Class C (Inboard, Outboard or Outdrive, 90 hp and over), these are bigger boats, but also a lot more horsepower and there were eight of them on the line. The dominate boat has been CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda], Dave Johnston of Peaks Island, but at Friendship he had been beaten by DELUSIONAL [Corson 18; 225-hp Evinrude], Ron Pottle of Brunswick. They were the leaders about half way up the course, but DELUSIONAL went dead in the water, but there were three others right on the stern of CASCO MISS. A Maritime Skiff 20, owner unknown, was first over with a speed of 46.3 mph, followed by CASCO MISS and then SLICE (The Scania Boat) [Mako 20; 200-hp Suzuki], Margaret Perrotta of Freeport. With those races done I breathed a sigh of relief!
Next came a little problem on the committee boat when she dragged her bow anchor. Fortunately the drag that was holding the stern held and we were good to go, but with a little different view.
In Wooden Boat A (Any hp., up to 35 feet 11 inches) it was all CINDY JEN [34’ Clinton Beal, 1964; 292 Chevrolet], Jon Johansen of Winterport, as she was the only entrant. There were two boats, DELUSIONAL [38’ John’s Bay Boat, 600-hp Cummins], Allan Dugas and SAND DOLLARS III [41’Johns Bay Boat; 700-hp Caterpillar], Scott Dugas, both of Yarmouth, on the line for Wooden Boat B (Any hp., 36 feet and over) and this was won by DELUSIONAL with a speed of 23.5 mph.
With just three boats, each in a different class, in the Gasoline Classes, so they were run down together. There were no entrants in Class B (V8, Up to 375 cid, 24 feet and over) and C (V8, 376 to 525 cid, 24 feet and over). CINDY JEN won Class A (Four and Six Cylinder, 24 feet and over); FOOLISH PLEASURE [30’ Custom Riley Beal; 650-hp 455 Stroker], Mark Freeman of York Class D (V8, 376 cid and over, 24 feet and over (Non-working racer)) and DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE [Mussel Ridge 28; 1,000-hp Chevrolet], Mark Davis Class E (V8, Over 525 cid, 28 feet and over, Turbos/superchargers, Alcohol and Nitrous).
Next up was the Diesel Classes and there were no entrants in Classes D (236 to 335 hp, 34 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), H (436 to 550 hp, 36 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), K (701 to 900 hp, 28 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), L (901 hp and over, 28 feet to 39 feet 11 inches) and O (Non-working boats, any length, any horsepower). In Class A (Up to 235 hp, 24 to 31 feet 11 inches) LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu], Riley Johnson of Long Island, made his first appearance of the year and won. There was just one entrant in Class B (Up to 235 hp, 32 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), REWBEN [RP 35; 230-hp Cummins], Andrew Millar of Durham, so he was run down with the boats in Class C (236 to 335 hp, 24 to 33 feet 11 inches). The two boats in Class C, MISS ATTITUDE [Holland 32; 265-hp John Deere], Adam Kimball of Long Island and RUTHLESS [Mussel Ridge 28; 315-hp Yanmar], Bruce Hamlin of Falmouth, was a great battle up the course and at the line it was MISS ATTITUDE by less than a boat length. There were two boats in Class E (336 to 435 hp, 24 to 33 feet 11 inches) and it was AUDREY MAY [Holland 32; 425-hp Cummins], Randy Durkee of Islesboro getting the win over GUILTY PLEASURE [Mitchell Cove 32; 380-hp Cummins], Jake Dugas of Yarmouth. Three boats were on the line for Class F (336 to 435 hp, 34 feet to 39 feet 11 inches) and they were combined. This was another great battle between KE II [Northern Bay 38; 405-hp Cummins] Scott Merryman of Harpswell and BLUE DOLPHIN II [Crowley 36; 402-hp Caterpillar] Cameron Murphy of Long Island in Diesel Class F (336 to 435 hp, 34 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), which was won by BLUE DOLPHIN II. Third went to SARAH MARIAH, Robert Johnson. The only entrant in Class G (436 to 550 hp, 28 to 35 feet 11 inches) was ENTRAPMENT [Crowley 33; 490-hp Cummins], Tom Cloutier of Harpswell so he ran down the course with the two racers, LIL’ LISA MARIE [Mussel Ridge 28; 600-hp FPT] as did the only racer in Class J (551 to 700 hp, 36 feet to 39 feet 11 inches), DELUSIONAL. Gary Genthner of Round Pond, and MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania], Chris Smith of Richmond, in Class I (551 to 700 hp, 28 to 35 feet 11 inches). The winner of Class I was LIL’ LISA MARIE. Next we combined Class M(A) (40 feet and over, up to 500 hp), which had just one entrant, PULL N’ PRAY [Wayne Beal 40; 500-hp Hyundai], Justin Papkee of Long Island, with Class M(B), (40 feet and over, 501 to 750 hp) which had three boats on the line. It was a close race, but slipping by the others was Matt Sheppard’s ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere] of Stonington. Second went to TEMPTATION [Young Brothers 40; 730-hp MAN], Wayne Clemons of Harpswell followed by SAND DOLLARS III. We have not seen WHISTLIN’ DIXIE [Holland 40; 1,000-hp Caterpillar], Andy Johnson of Harpswell, much over the last several years, but he came out today and won Diesel Class N (40 feet and over, 751 hp and over). Second went to another boat that we have not seen for a number of years, which was Tom Clemons’ 4 GIRLS [Wesmac 46, 1,000-hp Caterpillar].
Next up was the Gasoline Free-for-All, and FOOLISH PLEASURE decided not to race so the easy winner was DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE followed over by CINDY JEN.
Five boats were on the line for the Diesel Free-for-All and this was going to be a good race between WHISTLIN’ DIXIE and ALEXSA ROSE, and it was WHISTLIN’ DIXIE slipping by for the win. Third went to TEMPTATION.
The winner of the Slowest Boat and the Novi Class was PHOENIX [30’ Stanley Greenwood; 130-hp GM], Jesse Mitchell of Harpswell.
Four boats came to the line for the final race of the day, Fastest Lobster Boat, which was going to be a rematch between WHISTLIN’ DIXIE and ALEXSA ROSE, with DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE thrown into the mix. Even though she was 12 feet smaller DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE handled the wave well enough to stay out in front for the win with WHISTLIN’ DIXIE second and ALEXSA ROSE third.
Despite the weather it was a great day of racing and had the weather been nice I am certain that the turn out would have been much better.
There are two weeks before the next race, which is at Winter Harbor on 14 August followed the next day by the Merritt Brackett Races at Pemaquid.
WINTER HARBOR – Our biggest worry anytime we run a race is the weather. Rain lessens the number of entrants, but the real killer is fog. We can run in rain, but fog stops us dead. The week previous to the Winter Harbor races was hot and humid and when I made a quick trip there three days before the races it was fogged in solid. We knew relief was coming, but would it come soon enough? Friday, the day before the race, was a great day in Searsport so at noon I jumped on board CINDY JEN and followed Travis Otis in FIRST TEAM [Northern Bay 36; 410-hp Sisu 645] over to Winter Harbor, which was clear of fog. Now what would it be like in the morning?
Chris Byers likes to do it big so this year he offered a 400-hp FPT diesel engine and we knew this was going to get the racers to come out. The race committee signed up about 40 boats Friday night and on Saturday morning the sign-up line continued to form right up until 1000 hrs. and in the end, we had 129 racers entered. It took a while getting everything into the computer, but finally made it out onto the side of the course by 1100.
Chris realizes that you run the races in a timely fashion and as soon as he had the race list he had the outboard boats running up the course. For years Winter Harbor did not run outboard boats, but they brought them back two years ago. He did add the stipulation that you had to have a hauler and there was also just one class. The winner was BANDIT [Northern Bay 20; 300-hp Yamaha], owned by Marcus Fenton of Beals Island with a speed of 38.7 mph.
Next up was the Gasoline Classes and there were no entrants in Class B. There was just one entrant in Class A, CINDY JEN, with Ann Johansen at the helm, and she was sent up the course by herself. However, Classes C, D and E so they were combined. There was only one entrant in Class C, Lindsay Durkee’s BLACK DIAMOND [Holland 32, 454 Chevrolet] and one in Class D, FOOLISH PLEASURE so they automatically won their respective classes. Class E had two entrants with DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE and LITTLE GIRL [28’ Calvin Beal Jr.; 466 Ford, Blower] Shawn Alley so the question was who would win? It was a good start, but LITTLE GIRL slowly worked her way into the lead and did not look back. She was followed over the line by FOOLISH PLEASURE and then DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE.
The Diesel Classes were next and the only Class with no entrants was L. There were nine boats on the line for Class A and it was no surprise to see Calvin Beal, Jr.’s JEANINE MARIE [Calvin Beal 30; 235-hp Cummins] jump right into the lead and get the win with a speed of 30.6 mph. Despite having an engine issue, Kit Johnson in MR. LUCKY [Duffy 35; 225-hp John Deere] won Class B, now he just needed to win the engine. There were just two entrants in Class C and this was won by Johnathan Renwick’s TAY UP [BHM 32; 320-hp 3208 Caterpillar] with HARD TO FATHOM [RP 31; 355-hp John Deere], Matt Bernier second. Five boats were on the line for Class D, which was won by ELLEN LOUISE [RP 35; 300-hp John Deere], Conner Rossie with Roy Whalen’s BONNIE’S BRATS [Osmond 35; 305-hp Cummins] second. Eight boats were on the line for Class E, with the pre-race favorite being Dan Swayer’s HIGH VOLTAGE [AJ-28; 400-hp Yanmar]. However, at the drop of the flag Allan Johnson’s CATHERINE ELIZABETH [AJ-28; 350-hp Yanmar] jumped into the lead and never looked back. Randy Durkee’s AUDREY MAY [Holland 32; 425-hp Cummins] took second followed by HIGH VOLTAGE. Eleven boats were entered in Class F and it was no surprise to see Winfred Alley’s AIDEN MARINER [Calvin Beal 34; 425-hp Cummins] get the win with a speed of 31.2 mph. Second went to Brian Strout’s SUNSHINE CHALET [Mitchell Cove 35; 425-hp John Deere]. Dana Beal’s RIGHT STUFF [Libby 34; 500 hp Cummins] would easily win Class G with second going to Cody Hooper’s LAST ROUND [RP-31. Isotta]. Twelve boats were on the line for Class H and the dominate boat has been, and was again today, MISS NORMA [Wayne Beal 36; 480-hp Cummins], Dean Beal with second going to MELYNDA M. [Wayne Beal 36; 500-hp FPT], Willie Coombs. Patrick Faulkingham’s MARGARET E. [Young Brothers 30; 570-hp FPT] won Class I with second going to Tom West’s ACES & EIGHTS [RP 35; 210-Cummins]. Diesel Class J has been dominated by Heather Thompson’s GOLD DIGGER [Wayne Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] and no one was able to best her this day. Roger Kennedy’s WHISKEY-TANGO-FOXTROT [Crowley Beal 33, 650-hp FPT] slide over in second. There were four boats on the line for Class K and the favorite had to by Jeremy Beal’s MARIA’S NIGHTMARE II [Wayne Beal 32; 800-hp Nanni]. They were close running down the course, but MARIA’S NIGHTMARE II gained separation followed by David Myrick’s JANICE ELAINE [Northern Bay 38; 815-hp FPT] and Jeff Eaton’s LA BELLA VITA [Northern Bay 38; 815-hp FPT]. Ten boats were on the line for Class M(A) and the early favorite was Chris Pope’s OLD SCHOOL [Holland 41; 380-hp Cummins], and as they headed off he was right there, but Suki Pinkham’s SEA MONSTER [Repco 42; 455-hp Cummins] managed to just slide by for the win with OLD SCHOOL second. With 18 boats entered in Class M(B) this Class was broken into two heats with the top three boats going onto the finals. It is always close, and in the finals it was KIMBERLY ANN [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp FPT], Eric Beal of Milbridge coming out on top. Next over was MISS MADELYN [Osmond 42; 700-hp Scania], Jason Chipman of Milbridge and in third was ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere], Matt Shepard of Stonington. Class N had 18 entrants so this class was split. In the finals PIER PRESSURE [Osmond 40; 815-hp FPT] Jason West, jumped into the lead. She was followed across the finish line by Ken Gieger’s SHE’S ALL WET [Osmond 40; 800-hp Scania] and then SIZE MATTERS [Libby 45’ 3”; 1,000-hp FPT], Dixon Smith of Beals Island. There was only one boat in Class O and it was what many had come to watch, WILD WILD WEST [West 28; 1,050-hp Isotta], Cameron Crawford of Lamoine, speed up the course, and she did it with a speed of 53.4 mph.
The Winter Harbor races adds another race, which is not sanctioned by the Association, called Class P “Oh My God That’s a Big Boat, 44 feet and over.” The winner was SIZE MATTERS, followed by Travis Perry’s ISLA & GRAYSON [Wesmac 50; 900-hp Scania] and then Christopher Nelson’s JUGGERNAUT [Wayne Beal 46; 1,000-hp MAN].
There were only two boats on the line for Wooden Boat A, CINDY JEN and LITTLE GIRL and there was no question who was going to win this one, yes LITTLE GIRL. There were no entrants in Wooden Boat B.
Next up was the Lady Skipper’s Race and to enter you must have a lobster license. The pre-race favourite was GOLD DIGGER and she led the way down the course with Michaela Byers’ NAVIGATOR [Duffy 31; 315-hp Isuzu] getting second.
LITTLE GIRL won the Gasoline Free-for-All with FOOLISH PLEASURE second.
WILD WILD WEST won the Diesel Free for All with a speed of 61.2 mph. Second went to LA BELLA VITA.
In the final race of the day, Fastest Lobster Boat, no one was going to catch WILD WILD WEST, but second went to DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE with LITTLE GIRL third.
PEMAQUID – When I arrived at Pemaquid for the Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races the weather was absolutely perfect: bright sunshine, no humidity and a slight breeze out of the nor’west.
Sign ups were steady right up to 1000 and when done we had 64 racers entered. This is the only non-points race, but racers love coming here because they have different classes so they more than likely they will be racing someone they do not usually face-off against. Unfortunately, it is a long way (about 100 miles) to come from Winter Harbor for this event, but three did: ALEXSA ROSE, FOOLISH PLEASURE and LA BELLA VITA.
The first three races of the day are for outboard boats and for the first race, Outboards 25 hp and under, skiffs 16-feet and under, age 18 and under and there were six boats on the line. Storming up the course with a big lead was JENILY who crossed first followed by LITTLE E., Ernest Poland and third went to DILLON JAMES, Bryant Harvey. In Race 2 (Outboards up to 70 hp. Skiffs over 16-feet) no one was catching ZIPPIN’. Second went to Brent Fogg and third was Nikolas Poland’s WHITE LIGHTNING [15’5’; 88-hp Evinrude]. In the third race, Inboards or outboards – 71-hp and over, Skiffs 16 feet and over, DELUSIONAL led all other competitors to the finish line, but who was getting second? CASCO MISS was battling it out with ZIPPIN’ TOO, but then CASCO MISS slowed and turned. He unfortunately thought that the barge was the finish line, when he actually needed to go another 100 yards to finish the race.
There were no entrants in Four and six cylinder gas, 24 feet and over and with just one entrant in V-8 any cu. in. and under, 24-feet and over, HARD TO FATHOM [Jason 28; 350-hp Styer], Gary Clifford he would run with the Gasoline Modified boats, which had two entrants FOOLISH PLEASURE and VOOP, Jeremy Saxton of Harpswell, but VOOP had not yet arrived. For those not familiar, VOOP [Duffy 30; 502 Chevrolet], Lewis Stewart of Cundy’s Harbor, began racing in the late 1980s and was one the fast boats. I remember the first race I went to there were questions about how legal she was as she did not have a normal keel, she had one big open window, a spade rudder off the stern and steered from a center console. The last time I saw her race would have been in the 1990s when she appeared at the Moosabec Reach races to confront Benny Beal’s STELLA ANN [28’ Riley Beal; 502 Chevrolet]. They did race, but STELLA ANN developed an engine issue and did not finish the race. When the starting flag dropped FOOLISH PLEASURE stormed up the course with HARD TO FATHOM following.
Now came the Diesel Classes and first up was 175 hp and under, 24-feet and over, which had just one entrant LITTLE R & R [26’; 140-hp Yanmar], Gregory Carter so she came up with the second diesel race, 176 to 210-hp, 24-feet and over. The winner of the second diesel race was Kurt Hallowell’s MARGARITA [South Shore 30; 186-hp Isuzu] with Nathan Hanna‘s HALCYON [32’ Novi; 215-hp Isuzu] second. The next race (211 to 250-hp, 24-feet and over) had two fast boats Don Drisko’s MERGANSER [33’ Calvin Beal Jr.; 230-hp Yanmar] and Riley Johnson’s LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu], and the winner was anyone’s guess. As they came up the course, it was close, but as they neared the finish MERGANSER slipped into the lead and got the win by a boat length. In the next race (251 to 350-hp, 24 and over) MISS ATTITUDE [Holland 32; 265-hp John Deere], Adam Kimball of Long Island, but at the helm was former owner Marshall Farnham, showed the way to the finish with MATT & PAT [Stanley 36; 300-hp 3116 Caterpillar], Marina Feltis taking second with LIBERTY [35’ E. Libby, Jr.; 300-hp Caterpillar] Tony Hooper getting third. For the first time this year KARAMEL [Crowley 34; 380-hp Hyundai], Josh Audet of Perkin’s Cove showed for a race. He had his boat totally refurbished over the winter by Wayne Beal Boat Shop in Jonesport and was more than pleased with their work and how she now sailed. He would win the race, 351 to 450-hp, 28 to 39 feet 11 inch and under. Second went to FUGITIVE [Duffy 35; 375-hp John Deere], Dexter Benner followed by KESTREL [John’s Bay 40; 400-hp Volvo], Pete Nason of Marshfield, MA. Another good battle came in the 451 to 650-hp, 28 feet and over race between LIL’ LISA MARIE and David Osgood’s SPLIT SECOND [Crowley Beal 33; 550-hp D-8 Volvo] and it was LIL’ LISA MARIE getting the win. Third went to Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania]. Next up was 801-hp and over, 28 feet and over, which pitted BLUE EYED GIRL [Morgan Bay 38, 900-hp Scania], Andrew Taylor of Southport and LA BELLA VITA and it was a great race with BLUE EYED GIRL getting the win by a boat length. Chip Johnson brought out his new boat 5 STARS [Calvin Beal 42; 650-hp Mack], which he launched last year and won 650-hp, 40 feet and over. Second went to LETTIE ELISE [Young Brothers 45; 650-hp Volvo], Eben Wilson of East Boothbay with TWILIGHT [John’s Bay 42; 425-hp John Deere], Douglas Blasius of Friendship, third. In 651 to 800 hp, 40 feet and over Matt Shepard’s ALEXSA ROSE took first with Wayne Clemons’ TEMPTATION [Young Brothers 40; 730-hp MAN] second. The last diesel race had two entrants Eugene Harrington’s SALT SHAKER [Mussel Ridge 42; 1,000-hp MAN] and Tom Clemons’ 4 GIRLS [Wesmac 46, 1,000-hp Caterpillar] and winning by a boat length was SALT SHAKER.
First in the Novi Class was HIGHLANDER [32’ Novi; 300-hp John Deere], Kyle Westhaver with second going to Larry Reed’s GOIN’ DEEP [North Shore 27; 300-hp John Deere].
MERGANSER showed the way to the finish line in the Wooden Boat Race with second going to KETREL.
VOOP came to the line for the Gasoline Free-for-All, but it was all FOOLISH PLEASURE with VOOP getting second.
In the Diesel Free-for-All BLUE EYED GIRL took first followed by LA BELLA VITA and ALEXSA ROSE.
What would racing be without a little controversy? The last race of the day was a real close finish between FOOLISH PLEASURE and BLUE EYED GIRL. As they neared the line it was obvious that BLUE EYED GIRL was just behind, but she was gaining and when she crossed she may be had the win by half a boat length. If you were not on the line you could not make the call as to who won, but there are a number who thinks they can. Someone had a video from the fort tower, but it was not a view on the line and it created a little issue. Fortunately, I had photographs to prove that the judges did not get it wrong.
Now it is onto Long Island and Portland for the last two races of the year!