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Lobsterwoman turned pageant winner to represent Maine in Las Vegas

"It’s been tough tough having to work around her fishing with a crown on," said F/V Victoria...
"It’s been tough tough having to work around her fishing with a crown on," said F/V Victoria Capt. Richard Howland about his sternwoman and Miss Maine for America Strong Patricia Schimpf.(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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NORTHEAST HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - A new Miss Maine For America Strong was crowned earlier this month. She’s from Hancock County, and will represent Maine in the National Miss America Strong pageant in November.

But she’s not your typical pageant contestant.

”Heels are a new experience for me. I mean, I’ve got my boots on right now.”

Until two months ago, entering a beauty pageant was the last thing on Patricia Schimpf’s mind. But then the sternwoman on the Fishing Vessel Victoria was recruited by Mrs. Maine Tashia Porter to enter the Miss Maine for America Strong pageant in Portland.

“We’re capable of more than we think, and that’s what I kept telling her,” Porter said. “She was like, ‘I don’t know… heels?’”

“‘How much time do I have? Am I too old for this? Do I have to twirl anything?’ were my first questions,” Shimpf said. “I just kind of jumped in and did it.”

Jumped in and did it- and won.

It might seem like there’s no correlation between the skills needed to to fish off shore and the skills needed to win on stage. Apparently, that’s not the case.

“She has just a great attitude which I think is ninety percent of it on a lobster boat,” said F/V Victoria Captain Richard Howland. “Somebody that shows up smiling. Wants to go to work. Wants to work hard.”

“It takes the same grit and determination to push through a long day offshore as it does to push through all of the getting ready, getting out of your comfort zone things that it took to get me ready for this pageant,” added Schimpf.

Life on the boat has changed a little since the pageant.

“Well, it’s been tough tough having to work around her fishing with a crown on,” said Howland.

But what hasn’t changed is Schimpf’s desire to show other people what they’re capable of.

“Especially for women to know that you don’t just have to be one thing or another thing,” she said. “You don’t have to adhere to any social norms. If it’s something that scares you, it’s worth doing. And I think that’s important.”

For more information on the Mrs. Maine for America and Miss Maine for America Strong Pageant, visit mrsmaine.net.

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