There’s going be a whole lot of wake on the water this Saturday, June 19 when lobster boats up and down the coast arrive, revved up and ready to race, in the 2021 Charles Begin Memorial Lobster Boat Races.
That’s right, lobster boat racing fans, Maine’s races are on and the kickoff is right here in Boothbay Harbor!
Boat captains will sign up at Brown’s Wharf on Atlantic Avenue between 8 and 10 a.m.; the races start at 10. All signup fees will go to Maine Lobsterman’s Association.
“This year we are able to host the races without asking for donations,” said race organizer Ashleeann Lowery. “This gives all the local companies who donate to the races a chance to breathe.”
Traditionally, the names of all the business sponsors are on the back of all T’s and sweatshirts, but not this year. “(The racing committee) brainstormed for ideas, but none of us are artistic, so we reached out to Jessica Pinkham for help,” Lowery said. “Her design is an anchor with a ribbon running through it. We are excited to have her work on our clothing to represent our community!”
Pinkham’s late husband, Christopher, was a lobsterman. He died tragically in January 2020 when the vessel he was working on capsized.
All of the T-shirts ($20) and sweatshirts ($30) are black, the race logo and back design in gray. They will be at the signup table and they sell out fast.
This year, three $200 prizes will be awarded. They will go to the winners in three categories: Fastest Gasoline, Fastest Diesel and Fastest Lobster Boat Afloat.
In past years, about 40 lobster boats have shown up ready to race, along with around 120 spectator boats, but this year there could be more. “I can never remember taking so many calls and emails as I have gotten in the past two weeks,” Lowery said. “People are excited to be outside … everyone is just really pumped up!”
Among those callers was a retired man from Pemaquid who hasn’t raced in years. Said Lowery, “I think we’re going to bring him out of retirement.”
Where can you watch the races if you can’t get on the water? The race course runs in front of Tumbler Island toward the finish line at Maine State Aquarium on McKown Point Road in West Boothbay Harbor. Other spots on land are on the east side, over to Brown’s Wharf and at Whale’s Tale next door.
Lowery said racing information will be broadcast over VHF marine channel 10 (156.500).
Click here for the 2019 racing results.
The next race is in Rockland on Sunday, June 20. For a complete season schedule, visit https://mainelobstermen.org