Winter sometimes hangs on in Maine for the longest time. Stiff, hard, cold winds have swept the midcoast shore a number of days this month, and there are predictions of snow for today and Thursday this week. Many of us are feeling a little extra cagey as guidelines to "flatten the curve" have us in self-isolation.
A reminder that this weather won’t last and warmer days are on the way was the release of the 2020 Maine lobster boat racing schedule, accompanied by a racing photo of Kimberly Ann and Miss Amity, charging down a Maine race course, challenging each other, bow-to-bow, as they cut through the water on a sparkling bright, warm sunny day.
Assuming we're all out from under quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing, the schedule should proceed as usual.
There are 11 races this year, the same as in 2019. They start on June 20 in Boothbay and finish on Aug. 16 in Portland and Pemaquid.
The Portland and Pemaquid races on the same day are an unusual and somewhat weird scheduling. The racing committee wanted the Pemaquid race to be the previous weekend, but evidently the town of Pemaquid had a conflict and declined the change.
In the 2019 races 823 boats came to the starting line, which was 84 more than the previous year and 303 more boats than the 520 in 2010. Will the numbers go up this year? Who knows, but interest will certainly be created once word gets around that Wild Wild West, a West 28 with a 1,050-hp Isotta, has had some engine tuning that should keep her running over 60 mph. Then there’s a rumor that Steve Johnson might be putting a turbo from a helicopter into one of his boats. Anyway, it’s bound to be exciting. So keep the dates below on your calendar and hope for happier times.
20 Boothbay Harbor
28 Bass Harbor
4 Moosabec Reach
8 Winter Harbor
15 Long Island
16 MS Harborfest Races (Portland)
16 Merritt Brackett Races (Pemaquid)
17 Awards Banquet and Dinner (Robinson’s Wharf, Southport)