This past Saturday and Sunday marked the next to last weekend on Maine’s 2021 Lobster Boat Racing Circuit. The first races were on Saturday at Winter Harbor with 129 boats showing up.

One likely reason for the large turnout was the FPT diesel given away in a drawing. To be eligible, all you had to do was sign up and race. Matt Lester with the lobster boat Lord Byron, racing in Diesel Class M(B), 40 feet and over, 501 to 750 hp, had the lucky ticket.

In the Diesel Class K, 701 to 900 hp, 28 feet and over, Marie’s Nightmare II, a Mussel Ridge 28 with a 800-hp Nanni, was matched up against Janice Elaine, a Northern Bay 38 with a 815-hp FPT, and La Bella Vita, also a Northern Bay 38 with a 815-hp FPT. All three boats go over 45 mph, but Maria’s Nightmare won at 50.2 mph.

Wild Wild West, a West 28 with a 1,050-hp Isotta, had the fastest time of the day, winning the Diesel Free For All at 61.2 mph.

On Sunday in Pemaquid, 64 boats signed up to race.

Only about half a dozen lobster boats had made the 80- to 90-mile westerly run to Pemaquid. Foolish Pleasure, Blue Eyed Girl, La Bella Vita and Alexa Rose were among them. In the last race of the day — the Fastest Lobster Boat Afloat— all four of those lobster boats — especially Blue Eyed Girl and Foolish Pleasure — gave the crowd the best race of the day.

At the start, Foolish Pleasure jumped in to the lead, and coming up the course remained next to Blue Eyed Girl.

“That surprised me. I didn’t think Foolish Pleasure could hold it,” said Jon Johansen, president of Maine Lobster Boat Racing. Then within the last 100 yards, Blue Eyed Girl “just got by him by maybe 10 feet. Had to be doing at least 50 mph.” La Bella Vita was third and Alexa Rose fourth.

At the close of the day, only one weekend of racing remains on Maine’s lobster boat racing circuit. That’s this weekend with races at Long Island on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Portland on Sunday, Aug. 22.

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Michael Crowley is the former Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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