The race course was dry and the heat (90F) and humidity didn’t seem to bother the nine teams of four competing in the 2021 Windjammer Days Cod Fish Race on Wednesday afternoon, June 30.
As race sponsor Jack Herger and friends collected the names of the teams and their members, crowds gathered along the race course to cheer on the competitors.
Foul weather gear (coveralls and jackets – no boots this year) is laid out on the pavement for the first runner on the team to put on, then the runner picks up two fish to carry with them along the route (approximately 150 yards). Should the slippery fish fall on the course, the runner must pick up the fish and cross the finish line with it. Then subsequent runners help peel off the gear and the routine continues until all four runners finish in the timed event.
This year, only a few runners dropped a fish (or two) – one competitor did that at the start – and one runner’s coveralls dropped to his ankles. He took off the coveralls and tried to finish the race but Herger ushered him back onto the course to put the coveralls back on to make it a legal run.
The fun race lasted about 25 minutes. Herger then announced the top three teams.
Winning the race was Shipyard Shenanigans with a time of 2:27.24. The team had Andy Tyska, Dave Thorpe, Tom Gerhardt and Sam Perkins of Boothbay Harbor’s Bristol Shipyard. Shipyard owner Andy Tyska and his teammates accepted the winning prize of $100 from Herger.
Taking a close second in 2:33.50 was Dead Fish. Herger said this team was a “crew of local men that included Eben Court ... they never actually filled out an entry form so I don’t know the other three guys’ names.”
Another team from Bristol Marine, Tyska Trouble, took third place (2:48.31). Team members included Kevin Danfeller, Matthew Danfeller, Drew Tyska and Hope Tyska.
Herger said the youngest competitor was 6-year-old Gertrude Erskine and Sally Maroon (age “withheld under penalty of death,” said Herger) was the eldest competitor.
Teams came from Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, said Herger.