LOBSTER BOAT RACES
30/31 July 2005
FRIENDSHIP/HARPSWELL – Five of the eight lobster boat races are now in the book, but the competition is certainly lacking. I have not done the race totals for those racing in the points races, but it seems like there is only about half the number of last year. Despite the low number of entrants there has been some great racing.
There were about 50 entrants at both Friendship, 30 July, and Harpswell 31 July, which means, like the other three races before them, they were down about 20 boats. Some of the fishermen I questioned about the races thought it was related to the cheating. They asked what sense it made to go up against a boat that had turned the screw on their engine and/or were running propane. This is a serious problem, but there seems to be no solution to solving it.
I was surprised by how few racers came to the Friendship racers, who were from Friendship. This race is held to benefit their ambulance service and they can not come out and support it, makes one wonder. It is a well-run event and should be well attended, especially by the local fishermen.
Harpswell over the years has had issues, but this year they rose to the occasion and ran a good event. The races were under way before 1100 and were done by 1430. It seemed to go slow early on, but as the bigger boats took the stage the time seemed to fly by. And what about the party on board those Portland area boats, which were still going on when I left about 1600? I bet that one may have gone well into the night.
The weather for Friendship was just perfect, a light sou-west breeze and plenty of sun. In the first four races, Work Boats Under 24 Feet, there were 14 entrants. Ripple, (Holland 14, 30-hp Yamaha) won both Class A and B with different skippers. In the first race Thomas McLannan won followed by Richard B. Hildings in Class B. George Cleave won Class C with a speed of 41 mph and William Debery’s Supa Gupp won Class D with a speed of 38 mph.
There were just five racers entered in the Gasoline Classes. In Class A, four and six cylinder, D. & L. Boatworks of Lewiston returned for their second race of the season, with Cry Baby (25-footer, 292 cid Chevrolet), but had no competition. This little six cylinder fears no V-8 and came up the course with a speed of 26 mph. In Class B, Wayne Woodman’s Maybe (28-foot Padebco, wood, 350 cid Chevrolet) was the winner over a distant Aailyah Ann Brianna (Holland 32, 350 cid Chevrolet). In Class C, Isaac Beal brought out Christopher (Mariner Beal. Wood, 502 cid Chevrolet) and outpaced Sean Lash’s Sea Flea (26-foot Lash Brothers, 427 cid Chevrolet) by 10 mph.
Two boats came to the line for the Lady Skipper’s Race, which was won by Julie Eaton’s Kimberley Belle (AJ 28, 370-hp Volvo) by the width of her stem over Mrs. Ritchie’s Seacock (Calvin Beal 34, 410-hp Sisu).
The Wooden Boat Race was won by Christopher, followed by Don Drisko’s Merganser (33-foot Calvin Beal, 230-hp Yanmar). Merganser just came out of John’s Bay Boat where she was given some extensive repair. They replaced all the frames and sharprisers aft of the bulkhead and a new platform. Drisko said that they were planning to take her back there next year to do some repair work to the cabin. This job was done so well that you might think the hull was fiberglass it was so smooth.
There were 33 boats entered in the diesel classes. Class A was easily won by Howard Gray’s Blue Thunder (Northern Bay 28, 230-hp Steyr). Second went to Samuel Lash’s Clockwork (Repco 30, 226-hp Izusu) followed by Chris Hutchinson’s Minor Debt (Muscle Ridge 28, 210-hp Cummins). Merganser took Class B with Daniel Carter’s Carolyn (32-foot Fernald Carter, 199-hp Volvo) second. Venom (Muscle Ridge 28, 250-hp Sisu), owned by David Grant, showed she had some ponies in her she sped up the course. Second went to Dave Taylor’s Andrea & Donna (Crowley 28, 300-hp Isuzu) and third was Tom Cloutier’s Lil’ Nemesis (BHM 25, 240-hp Steyr). Raymond Carter’s Who’s Buyn (Flower 33, 300-hp John Deere) captured first in Class D with second going to Marshall Farnham’s Miss Attitude (Holland 32, 265-hp John Deere) and third All Out (Crowley-Beal 33, 300-John Deere) owned by Nick Page. There were no entrants in Class E and just one, Kimberely Belle, run by Sid Eaton, in Class F. In Class G it was no surprise when Bill Grant’s Gladiator (Crowley Beal 33, 287-hp Volvo) won with Scott Carter’s Lez & Greg (Flower 33, 430-hp Volvo) second. Diesel Class H was bound to be one of the best matches of the day pitting Jim Minott’s Hooked Up (Crowley Beal 36, 375-hp John Deere) against Travis Otis’ First Team (Northern Bay 36, 410-hp Sisu). Their first meeting went to First Team, but today was different with Hooked Up getting first. Third went to Jeremy McLellan’s Serenity (Wayne Beal 36, 435-hp Cummins). In Class I Seacock, skippered by Todd Ritchie, crossed the finish line first with Gary Genthner’s Lisa Marie (Libby 34, 550-hp Isuzu) second and Arnold Benner’s Becky Jean II (Wayne Beal 34, 450-hp Scania) third. Class J was won by Island Mistress (Holland 38, 500-hp MAN) owned by Eugene Harrington Jr. with second going to Clive Farrin’s Sea Swallow (Newman 36, 450-hp Caterpillar). Richard Olson’s MJR (Mitchell Cove 35, 660-hp Caterpillar) is quick, but was not quick enough to get by Steven Johnson’s Wild One (Crowley Beal 33, 892 GM). To speed up things Class N and O were run with Class L since they had just one entrant. Class N was won by Andrew Gove’s Uncle’s UFO (Northern Bay 36, 900-hp Mack) and Class P. by Richard Hildings’ (RP 40, 800-hp Caterpillar). There were two entrants in Class L, Bill Halinan’s Apparition II (Young Brothers 38, 892 GM) and Skip Young’s Silver Spoon (Mitchell Cove 37, 650-hp Volvo). As they came up the course Uncle’s UFO crossed over the course and left a huge wake which put Apparition II on her side. The race committee wanted to rerun the race, but that was refused. Class O was won by Wayne Clemons’ Temptation (Young Brothers 40, 650-hp Mack) with Gregory Simmons’ Jamie Lee (Wayne Beal 40, 590-hp Duetz) getting second.
In the Gasoline Free-for-All three boats came to the line and the race committee allowed the Coast Guard to come up the course with them. The Coast Guard sped up the course and crossed first, but Christopher took first. Second went to Cry Baby and third Sea Flea, but there was a problem. Sea Flea got into the Coast Guard boat’s wake and Sea Flea went over on her side and a child was slightly hurt. Again the race committee offered to rerun the races, but that was refused.
In the Diesel Free-for-All three boats came to the line. Uncle’s UFO took first followed by MJR and What’s Left. They were also the only boats entered in the fastest lobster boat race and finished in the same order.
In the final race of the day for Friendship boats, five came to the line and first went to Becky Jean II, followed by Island Mistress and Jamie Lee.
At Harpswell the weather stayed warmed, but overcast.
Sixteen boats were entered in the Work Boat Classes under 24 feet. Blake Deignan of Colorado won Class A; David Noyes’ Zippy continued his winning ways with his fourth straight victory; David Mally’s Taylor Jean won Class C and Mello Yellow owned by Cody Devenger took Class D.
Christopher won the wooden boat race, followed over by Bob Dyer’s The Dream (34-footer, 502 cid Chevrolet) and Doug Carter’s Babe (30-foot Everett Barlow, wooden, 455 cid Oldsmobile).
For the Fastest Gasoline Boat on Casco Bay, The Dream grabbed first followed by Babe.
In the Fastest Diesel Boat on Casco Bay, first went to Hooked Up, followed by Wild One and Steven Johnson’s Hattie Rose (Crowley Beal 36, 892 GM).
Seven boats were entered in the Gasoline Classes with just one in Class A, Cry Baby; Class D, Babe; and Class E, The Dream. In Class B Roger Allard’s Jed-I (28-foot Seaworthy, 310-hp Sea-Maxx) won over Quienten Toothaker’s Crystal Clear (JC 31, 350 cid Chevrolet). In Class C Christopher was the winner over Tom Bennett’s Premonition (Jason 25, 340-hp Chevrolet).
Twenty seven boats were entered in the Diesel Classes with six of them with just one competitor. These were: Class B, Merganser; Class F, Covey Johnson’s Katie Jean (Crowley 28, 420-hp Caterpillar); Class G, Gladiator; Class K, Wild One; Class M, Thomas Clemons’ Obsession (Young Brothers 45, 900-hp Mack); and Class P, What’s Left. Class A had three entrants and was won by Blue Thunder and second was James Boehm’s Jo Eileen (aluminum 28-footer built by Paul Luke, 186-hp Isuzu). Three also came out for Class C with Venom getting the easy win over Andrea & Donna and Lil’ Nemesis. In Class D. Miss Attitude crossed the finish line first followed by All Out. Todd Hubbard’s Lizzie (38-foot Willis Beal, wood, 315-hp Cummins). Hooked Up and First Team faced off for the second time this weekend with Hooked Up winning again in Class H. Seacock and Lisa Marie also faced off for the second time this weekend, and Seacock won again for Class I. Both Bill Waldron’s Dorothy K. (Northern Bay 36, 500-hp Yanmar) and Keith Jordan’s Hot Spot II (Libby 38, 450-hp John Deere) came out for the first time and Dorothy K. showed the way to the finish line. In Class L Hattie Rose just beat Silver Spoon. In Class O Temptation was able to get by William Clemons’ Hannah Carson (44-foot John’s Bay, 700-hp Lugger).
In the Gasoline Free-for-All, Christopher easily outpaced The Dream for the win.
In the Diesel Free-for-All, Uncle’s UFO had a battle half way up the course with Hooked Up, but pulled away for the win. Third went to Hattie Rose. Uncle’s UFO and Hooked Up raced for the title of fastest lobster boat and this was won by Uncle’s UFO.
It was a great weekend and now it is one to Winter Harbor.
For the complete race results turn to Page 20 or go to www.mainescoast.com