Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 13, 2017
High-speed thrills mark Stonington Lobster Boat Races
Keith Dunham’s Lady Alyssa pulls ahead to win the Diesel Class B race, with crew Heather Oliver throwing the victory sign.
by Anne Berleant
How fast can a lobster boat go? This year, it was 54.5 miles per hour as Shawn Alley’s Little Girls proved that the gas has it, winning the Fastest Lobstah Boat Afloat with a 1,000-plus horsepower engine from a mud-runner installed after the previous engine got blown in the 2016 event.
Diesel-powered Wild Wild West kept up until close to the finish line when Little Girls pulled ahead for the win. Each had won in its fuel class free for all race.
“We were all surprised to see Little Girls [win],” said Jon Johanson, President of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association.
That high-powered contest ended an afternoon that brought big wakes and bigger thrills as lobster boats from up and down the coast raced in 31 events in classes from 16-foot skiffs to 40-foot diesel boats with 750-plus horsepower. One-hundred-nine separate entries kept spectators on water and land for four hours.
“We had a fantastic turnout, and couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Genevieve McDonald, in her first year as head of the Stonington Lobster Boat Races held on July 9.
The inaugural Deer Isle-Stonington Exhibition race was won, after a three-heat battle, by Jeff Eaton, in La Bella Vita, with Brent Oliver’s Jarsulan 4 in second, and Johnathan Jones’ Jaylin Lucas in third.
Not every stop on the circuit can pull off a local-boats-only race, Johanson said. “[Stonington] gets the support. It’s always got that aura about it. It’s the Daytona of the race circuit.”