Josh Audet’s KARAMEL [Crowley 34; 380-hp Hyundai] and Cameron Murphy’s BLUE DOLPHIN II [Crowley 36; 402-hp 3406 Caterpillar] battling for first in Diesel Class F at Long Island.
Long Island Lobster Boat Race – 20 August 2022
It was the final weekend of the lobster boat racing season with just two races to go, Long Island and Portland. I arrived at Long Island on Friday afternoon and joined the race get-together on the waterfront at the ferry landing, where they sold T-shirts and hoodies. It was quite a gathering, and the line for T-shirts lasted for more than an hour.
The Long Island race committee decided to hold the races a little earlier in the day this year. In the past they started at 2 PM, but this year they decided to start them at noon.
Saturday was a perfect day: bright sunshine and a nice light sou’wester breeze. Sign-ups were steady and when done there were 45 boats entered. There was a good turn out in the Work Boat or “skiff” Classes: nine entrants. The Gasoline Classes was light again with just four boats entered in the five classes. In the Diesel Classes there were three races with no entrants and four with just one entrant. The races with just one entrant were combined with other races, but they still got the win in their respective class.
Jennifer and Emily Noyes in JENILY [Corson 14; 30-hp Johnson] has dominated Work Boat Class A all year and today was no different as they flew up the course with Max Byers’ POS EXPRESS II [Holland 14; 30-hp Mercury] following. Work Boat Class B was going to be an incredibly competitive race between David Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ [Corson 14; 60-hp Johnson], Jacob Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan], and Andy Correa [Boston Whaler 15; 70-hp Evinrude]. The early money was on ZIPPIN’ TOO for the win, which he did. The real battle was then for second and that went to Andy Correa with ZIPPIN’ right on his transom. The top two boat in Work Boat Class C this year has been Dave Johnston’s CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda] and Ron Pottle’s DELUSIONAL [Corson 18; 225-hp Evinrude] and they were ready to face off once again. As they worked their way up the course it was close, but right before they crossed the finish line DELUSIONAL got the edge and the win.
With so few boats in the Gasoline Classes all five were run together. At the previous race, the Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races at Pemaquid, Bruce Engert and THUNDERBOLT [South Shore 30; 621 Chevrolet] made their first appearance in several years, but when testing at the dock they broke something that ended their day. This day she made it to the line and was an early favorite. The start boat began moving forward, got the boats lined up and dropped the flag. One could definitely tell these were big, powerful engines then THUNDERBOLT went dead in the water as Mark Davis’ DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE [Mussel Ridge 28; 1,000-hp Chevrolet] lead the other two boats to the finish line. He won Gasoline Class E. Mark Freeman’s FOOLISH PLEASURE [30’ Custom Riley Beal; 650-hp 455 Stroker] won Gasoline Class D and Tim Day’s ALL DAY LONG [Johnson 28; V-6 Gas] won Gasoline Class A.
Next up were the Diesel Classes and there were no entrants in Classes D, L and O. The first three classes, A, B and C had just one entrant so they were combined into one race with each getting the win in their respective classes. Riley Johnson’s LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu] won Class A; Steve Johnson’s HARRY-N-LARRY [34’ Dragger, 175-hp], Class B; and Bruce Hamlin’s RUTHLESS [Mussel Ridge 28; 315-hp Yanmar] took Class C. There were three boats on the line for Class E and Randy Durkee’s AUDREY MAY [Holland 32; 425-hp Cummins] continued her domination of this class. Second went to Jake Dugas’ GUILTY PLEASURE [Mitchell Cove 32; 380-hp Cummins]. Five boats were on the line for Class F and there was a battle for first and second between Josh Audet’s KARAMEL [Crowley 34; 380-hp Hyundai] and Cameron Murphy’s BLUE DOLPHIN II [Crowley 36; 402-hp 3406 Caterpillar], which went to KARAMEL. The battle for third and fourth in this class was also close between Craig Stewart’s CARL & CO. [Wayne Beal 36; 405-hp Cummins] and Harold Stewart’s DONNA ELAINE [Wayne Beal 36; 405-hp Cummins]. This was won by CARL & CO. There was just one entrant in Class G, Tom Cloutier’s ENTRAPMENT [Crowley 33; 490-hp Cummins], so he ran with the two boats in Class H. The winner of Class H was Shawn Rich’s OMEGA [Crowley 36; 440-hp Yanmar] with second going to Ben Perry’s MISTRESS [Calvin Beal 38; 500-hp C9 Caterpillar]. Class I was close, but the win went to Gary Genthner’s LIL’ LISA MARIE [Mussel Ridge 28; 600-hp FPT] with Chris Smith’s MISTY [Crowley Beal 33; 650 hp Scania] a close second. There was just one entrant in Class J, Sean Clemon’s MEAN KATHLEEN [Wayne Beal 36; 700-hp Scania] so she ran up the course with the three boats in Class K. Andrew Taylor’s BLUE EYED GIRL [Morgan Bay 38, 900-hp Scania] got the win with Jeff Eaton’s LA BELLA VITA [Northern Bay 38; 815-hp FPT] right on her transom. Third went to Zach Donnell’s REGENCY [Calvin Beal 38; 800-hp Scania]. Next up was Class M(A) and Chris Pope’s OLD SCHOOL [Holland 41; 380-hp Cummins] took the lead right at the start and never looked back. Second went to Alan Knowlton’s SEA URCHIN [Young Brothers 45, 425-hp John Deere] with Justin Papkee’s PULL N’ PRAY [Wayne Beal 40; 500-hp Hyundai] getting third. Matt Shepard’s ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere] came all the way from Stonington to win Class M(B) and in second was Lee MacVane’s DOMINATOR [Newman 46; 700-hp Volvo] followed by Adam Clay’s WINDY [Stanley 44; 615-hp Volvo]. Andy Johnson’s WHISTLIN’ DIXIE [Holland 40; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] does not race as much as she used to, but she came and proved she still had it by winning Diesel Class N. The big battle in this class was for second between Tom Clemon’s 4 LADIES [Wesmac SW46; 1,000-hp Caterpillar], which ended up third with Marshall Spear’s JACALWA [Wesmac 46; 1000-hp Caterpillar] placing second.
There were no entrants in either of the wooden boat classes so next up was the race for Boats Built at Johnson’s Boat Yard, which was won by CASCO MISS, followed by OMEGA and BLUE DOLPHIN II.
Another special race every year at Long Island is the Royal River Boat Yard Race and the winner was JACALWA with CARL & CO. second and DONNA ELAINE third.
Only two boats were on the line for the Gasoline Free-for-All and DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE led the way to the finish line with FOOLISH PLEASURE back a couple of boat lengths.
In the Diesel Free-for-All no one was surprised to see BLUE EYED GIRL out in front, but second did not go to LA BELLA VITA, she got third with JACALWA sneaking in for the second spot.
Six boats were on the line for the final race of the day, Fastest Lobster Boat. This could be a good battle as DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE would get the jump at the start, but could she hold off BLUE EYED GIRL? DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE had another problem: if there were wakes on the course, she might get airborne. As the two neared the finish line DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE was in the lead, but if he had to let off the throttle BLUE EYED GIRL would certainly get by, but he did not have to pull back and got the win. Third went to LA BELLA VITA.
There was a benefit held over at Cow Island raising money for cancer and that pulled a few boats away from this race. Hopefully, next year they arrange it so both events can benefit.
It was a great day of racing and now there was just one race left in the season.
Portland Lobster Boat Race – 21 August 2022
After a perfect day for the Long Island Lobster Boat Races on Saturday we were blessed with another on Sunday: bright sunshine and a light sou’west breeze. Signups were out on the water along with T and sweatshirt sales, plus the prizes were given out after each race on the finish line committee boat. This makes for a quicker day, which I am sure is much appreciated by those traveling back way Downeast. I had signed up about 20 boats at the Long Island races and to this I added another 21 for a total of 41 registered racers.
The Portland races are a fund raiser. Initially it was for MS, but the MS Society dropped this waterfront event several years ago and Katie Werner, who heads the Portland races, decided to keep it a fundraiser, but for the scholarship fund associated with the Maine Fishermen’s Forum. So, for those that donated THANK YOU.
There were 10 entrants in the Work Boat Classes. In Class A Jennifer and Emily Noyes’ JENILY [Corson 14; 30-hp Johnson] faced off against BABY BARON [Holland 14, 30-hp Yamaha]. JENILY got the win as BABY BARON had a tough time battling her way through the wakes and at one time pointed her bow towards heaven. Five boats came to the line for Class B and no one was surprised to see Jacob Noyes’ ZIPPIN’ TOO [Corson 15; 90-hp Nissan] get the win, followed over by Andy Correa [Boston Whaler 15; 70-hp Evinrude] and then Matt Williams’ HOSTILE II [Skiff; 90-hp]. Class C was going to be a rematch of the day before battle between Dave Johnston’s CASCO MISS [Eastern 22, 250-hp Honda] and Ron Pottle’s DELUSIONAL [Corson 18; 225-hp Evinrude]. CASCO MISS had been out playing with different propellers early that morning and it must have made the difference as he got the win. However, DELUSIONAL had developed an issue in the race and was taking on water. He had to run for the beach and ground out before she went under.
There were only three boats entered in the five Gasoline Classes, all in different classes, so they were run together with each getting the win: Jeff Croft’s TILLY [Brownell; 350 260-hp Mercruiser] won Class B; Jim Koehling’s BROWN EYED GIRL [Duffy 26; 454-hp Chevrolet] Class C; and Mark Davis’ DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE [Mussel Ridge 28; 1,000-hp Chevrolet] Class E.
In the Diesel Classes there were no entrants in classes C, D, L and O. There were also several others with just one entrant, which meant they would be combined with another race. In Class A there were three registered, but just two came to the line. Riley Johnson’s LYNN MARIE [Sisu 26; 235-hp Isuzu] had developed a gear issue the night before and he was the no show. The win went to Dale Dyer’s RELENTLESS [BHM 28; 200-hp Yanmar] followed over by Joe Arsenault’s SEABOUND [J. Ervin Jones 32; 120-hp Perkins] all the way from Gloucester, MA. The winner of Class B went to Kurt Brown’s LIL’ MORE TAIL [Calvin Beal 33; 225-hp John Deere] with Steve Johnson’s HARRY-N-LARRY [34’ Dragger, 175-hp] in second. Randy Durkee’s AUDREY MAY [Holland 32; 425-hp Cummins] was the only entrant in Class E so he ran up with the two boats in Class F. This was another rematch from Long Island as Josh Audet’s KARAMEL [Crowley 34; 410-hp Hyundai] had gotten the win over Cameron Murphy’s BLUE DOLPHIN II [Crowley 36; 402-hp 3406 Caterpillar], but today the win went to BLUE DOLPHIN II. There was just one entrant in Classes G, H and I so they were run together with each getting the win in their respective classes: Sheldon Pope’s PRETTY BROAD [RP-35; 500-hp Cummins] Class G; Nick Martinez’s PRETTY WOMAN [Calvin Beal 36; 510-hp Caterpillar] Class H; and Gary Genthner’s LIL’ LISA MARIE [Mussel Ridge 28; 600-hp FPT] Class I. Three boats were on the line for Class J and the win went to Carl Anderson’s DANICA HAILEY [Calvin Beal 36; 675-hp Scania] followed by Sean Clemons’ MEAN KATHLEEN [Wayne Beal 36; 700-hp Scania] and Alan Dugas’ DELUSIONAL [38’ John’s Bay Boat, 600-hp Cummins]. Jeff Eaton’s LA BELLA VITA [Northern Bay 38; 815-hp FPT] won Class K with Zack Donnell’s REGENCY [Calvin Beal 38; 800-hp Scania] coming over in second. Four boats were on the line for Class M(A) and Chris Pope’s OLD SCHOOL [Holland 41; 380-hp Cummins] got the win with Alan Knowlton’s SEA URCHIN [Young Brothers 45, 425-hp John Deere] taking second. Five boats lined up for Class M(B). Eric Beal did not make it to the Long Island Races as he was out hauling, but he brought his KIMBERLY ANN [Calvin Beal 42; 750-hp FPT] down from Milbridge to run in the Portland races and got the win with Matt Shepard’s ALEXSA ROSE [Morgan Bay 43; 750-hp John Deere] second. Alan Dugas’ ROLLING STONE [John’s Bay Boat 44; 700-hp Lugger] made her first appearance on the racing scene and took third in this class. Following up his win at Long Island in Class N Andy Johnson’s WHISTLIN’ DIXIE [Holland 40; 1,000-hp Caterpillar] repeated their first-place finish with Marshall Spears’ JACALWA [Wesmac 46; 1000-hp Caterpillar] in second.
SEABOUND was the only entrant in Wooden Boat A so she ran down with Wooden Boat B. Wooden Boat B had three boats on the line, all built by John’s Bay Boat Co. of South Bristol and all owned by the Dugas of Yarmouth. They finished: ROLLING STONE; Scott Dugas’ SAND DOLLARS III [41’Johns Bay Boat; 700-hp Caterpillar]; followed by DELUSIONAL.
In the Gasoline Free-for-All it was all DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE with BROWN EYED GIRL second.
Nine boats were on the line for the Diesel Free-for-All and WHISTLIN’ DIXIE flew up the right side getting the win with LA BELLA VITA second and KIMBERLY ANN third.
Four boats came out for the final race of the day and year. The question was would DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE be able to keep those big diesel boats behind her? As they made their way up the course DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE had the lead but the diesel boats were right on her stern. At the line it was DOWNEAST NIGHTMARE followed by LA BELLA VITA then KIMBERLY ANN and ALEXSA ROSE.
It was a great day and year of racing and I cannot wait for next year.