Lobster boat racing season revs up this Saturday

Posted:  Monday, June 11, 2018 - 9:15am

That’s right, lobster boat racing fans and racers. The 33rd season begins right here in Boothbay Harbor  at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 16 with the Charles Begin Memorial races.

Categories include gas classes based on length and cubic inches, diesel classes based on horsepower and length, a wooden boat race, gas and diesel free-for-alls, and four races just for Boothbay region boats.

The race course runs in front of Tumbler Island toward the finish line at the Maine State Aquarium. 

The absolute best viewing is on the water, preferably in a boat. Other spots on land are on Atlantic Avenue, on the east side, at Brown’s Wharf, Cod’s Head and Lobster Dock. Spectators can also catch the beginning action pretty well at the Maine State Aquarium on McKown Point Road in West Boothbay Harbor.

Thirty-four boats raced in the season opener last year. The finale, which determines the fastest working lobster boat in the race, was won last year by Cameron Crawford in Wild Wild West (at 56 mph). This isn’t a total surprise. Crawford has taken first place in this category for three years. Crawford got strong competition from Tom Clemons in Motivation (at 55.5 mph). Mark Davis placed third in Whiskey Girl. No doubt Crawford will return to retain his reign in first place. This will be a don’t miss finale! 

A welcome party for all the racers will be held at Boothbay Lobster Wharf, 97 Atlantic Ave. Friday, June 15, with music by Tim Sprague and the Murky Water Band from 6 to 9 p.m. Commemorative T-shirts ($20) and sweatshirts ($30) will be available at this fun event. On the day of the races, get your T’s and sweatshirts at a table at Brown’s Wharf, just a little ways up Atlantic Avenue. Just look for the very tall statue of a lobsterman!

“This year has been great thus far, and the weather looks fantastic,” said organizer Ashlee Lowery. “This year for the fastest boat we have a very special prize of tickets to see country artist Alan Jackson.”

There are 17 super sponsors donating $300 value or more, 19 major sponsors donating $200-$299 value, plus 15 and counting donating smaller amounts, or physical prizes under $200 that Lowery says they love handing out. Lowery also created a custom sticker for this year’s races that will sell for $1 each.

Prizes for each race are awarded: First place $150; second place $100 ; third place $50. Race winners can also choose another prize of the same value donated by the sponsors.

For the rest of the 2018 dates, visit the Fans of Maine Lobster Boat Racing Facebook page.