Lobster Boat Races come to Rockland

Published: Jun. 16, 2019 at 6:26 PM EDT
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Lobstermen in Rockland weren't hauling any traps Sunday, but that doesn't mean their boats weren't in action.

Summer in Maine is actually multiple seasons rolled into one.

Tourist season. Blueberry Season. And for a lot of Mainers from the coast, it's Lobster Boat Racing Season.

"It's just something to do, y'know?" Said Dexter Benner of New Harbor. "Get out and enjoy the outdoors. I know a few of the guys down this way, and some from the other harbors that are down here racing today, so I thought I'd come check it out."

Benner is a lobsterman out of New Harbor, and was one of hundreds of spectators who were both on the water, and the breakwater in Rockland Sunday, to watch the Rockland Lobster Boat Races.

"It's kind enjoyable, you know? It's a nice day"

The Rockland boat races happened to be on the fifth birthday of Owen Hotchkiss, so his dad Blake brought him down from Brewer, for a loud, Fathers Day/ Birthday afternoon.

"A lot of noise, which is great though," said Hotchkiss."Love the engines, how fast they're going. He really likes it too. You know, I grew up on the coast near Blue Hill, so we've been around boats all our life, so this is really important."

There's a Lobster Boat Race somewhere in Maine almost every weekend during the summer, but believe it or not, there are people outside of Maine who've never heard of such a thing, and are going to have to explain it when they get home. Lisa from Georgia explained.

"They got to come see this, cause they probably wouldn't believe me unless I filmed it," she said. "But it's cool. It's awesome, especially when you ain't never seen nothing like it, and you're from the South. We don't have that down there. We just have the little Red Lobster. That's it. You know?"

Lobster Boat Racing is a competitive racing circuit like any other. The drivers collect points throughout the season, win prizes at individual events, and awards are given out at a banquet in October. Benner competes in the Pemaquid Lobster Races in August, so how competitive is Lobster Boat Racing, really?

"There's always a little garbage talk, sure. Trash talk, whatever you wanna call it. One's got the fastest boat. 'My boat, this, that.' It's just whose word is true"

When Benner was asked about winning a Lobster Boat Race one of these days, he was confident in his future.

"Oh sure, when I put in my 800 horsepower next year and my 35 Duffy, I'm gonna dominate this gig. Yeah."