The last races of Maine’s 2021 lobster boat racing season took place this past weekend: Saturday on Long Island and Sunday, about 6 miles away, at Portland.
Despite the presence of Hurricane Henri further down the Atlantic coast, 46 boats came to race at Long Island, whereas last year no one showed up because the Long Island race was one of six that were cancelled due to the covid-19 virus.
The big races of the day involved Blue Eyed Girl, a Morgan Bay 38 with a 900-hp Scania, and Maria’s Nightmare II, a Mussel Ridge 28 with an 800-hp Nanni.
They were matched up in Diesel – Class K, 701 to 900 hp, 28 feet to 40 feet, again in the Diesel Free-for-All and the Fastest Lobster Boat race. Maria’s Nightmare II took the first race at 39 mph, got edged out by Blue Eyed Girl in the Diesel Free-For-All and then beat Blue Eyed Girl in the Fastest Lobster Boat Race.
But when the weatherman said, “Hurricane’s coming!” most lobstermen quickly lost their enthusiasm for the next day’s race in Portland. Only 21 boats showed up, whereas the previous year 47 raced.
Blue Eyed Girl was one of the boats that chose not to race. So Maria’s Nightmare II easily took Diesel – Class K, the Diesel Free-for-All at 50.1 mph, as well as the Fastest Lobster Boat race.
Closing out the day, as is traditional in Portland, was the tugboat race. This year it was between three McAllister tugs, who put on their own high-speed display, running neck-and-neck at about 15 mph.