Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 15, 2021
Boothbay captain takes the new Andrew Gove Memorial Cup
From left, Andy Gove’s grandson Andrew Clifford, Myrna Clifford, Rose Gove, and granddaughter Cheri Smith with the new Andrew Gove Memorial Cup for the fastest working lobster boat.
by Jonny Sonnenfeld
With deafening roars, the fastest lobster boats in Maine flew down the Thorofare Sunday, July 11, at the annual Stonington Lobster Boat Races. More than 70 boats from harbors all over Maine competed for bragging rights and cash prizes.
“It was a fantastic day for racing, couldn’t ask for better weather,” said event organizer Genevieve McDonald, “It’s great to finally be back.” The Stonington event was not run in 2020.
Seventy boats raced in 33 categories on Sunday.
This year the competition for Fastest Working Lobster Boat was renamed the Andrew Gove Memorial Cup after legendary islander and racer Andrew Gove, who died in June 2020.
“He would have been extremely excited,” said his daughter, Myrna Clifford. “He wouldn’t have just loved watching this—he would have been racing in it.”
“He would have beat y’all,” proclaimed Gove’s grandson Andrew Clifford.
Blue Eyed Girl of Boothbay, captained by Andrew Taylor, won the newly renamed trophy along with a copy of Andrew Gove’s book, The Life of a Maine Lobsterman—82 Years on the Water. His widow, Rose Gove, presented the trophy to Taylor.
Taylor also won the Fastest Lobster Boat Afloat category.
Wild Wild West with Cameron Crawford took all in the Diesel Free for All, and Little Girl with Shawn Alley took top place in the Gasoline Free for All.
Boats overflowing with people anchored or tied up to each other all over the harbor to watch the spectacle; every pier and ledge with a view had spectators.
One family came all the way from Beverly, Mass., just to watch the competition.
“Most years I go to 10 out of the 11 races,” said David Jones, a lobster boat race enthusiast from Rockland. “I drive from Rockland all the way to Portland, then back up to Jonesport.” Jones knew every engine in every boat and plans to build a racing boat when he wins the lottery.
The post-race dance was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.