Its like NASCAR on the Atlantic… as lobster boats race on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon in Maine, in front of hundreds of floating fans. Boats raft up to one another, coolers are brimming with beers, and BBQ grills are as fired up as the lobstermen throttling their boats down the marked channel for bragging rights. Spectators cheer for each set of speeding boats – typically two to four boats race at a time – plying the waves and each other’s wake – charging for the finish line and the best time.
There’s no cost to attend. It’s a free for all, free for all! Most of the these Maine fishing and lobstering vessels are designed to fish …not to go fast. That’s what makes it fun – funny even! Seeing a lobster boat speed at upwards of 30 mph is exciting… especially when competing head to head amongst friendly fishing friends – turned competitors.
Lobstering is hard work, on often cold mornings, in harsh seas, fog, rain, Maine weather, so its nice tosee lobstermen on a day off, having fun, enjoying their boats in a friendly competiton in front of their fans and families.
The best place to watch these fun summer races is on a boat. Some Maine harbors also charter special boat trips and ferries on race day to bring spectators out to the fleet field. Best bet, find a friend with a large barge or comfy cruiser, offer to bring lunch and beverages in trade for a ride and front row seat. Or hop on an ferry. Bring a cooler, snacks, sunscreen, a swimsuit for a quick “cool” dip between heats, and a hat – its a long day viewing in the sun – often starting with small work boat class, a wooden boat division, diesel vs gas classes, and building up to the bigger beefier working boats, ending with a tug boat tug of war for the win. The sup’ed up lobster boat heats are by far the loudest, a real crowd pleaser…
June 15 Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Races
June 16 Rockland Lobster Boat Races
June 23 Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Race and Blessing of the Fleet
June 29 Moosabec Reach Lobster Boat Race at Jonesport – Beals Island bridge
July 7 Stonington Lobster Boat Race
July 21 Friendship Lobster Boat Races
July 28 Harpswell Lobster Boat Races – land lubbers can view the race from Dolphin Cove Marina Restaurant – one of our fave waterfront restaurants in Maine!
August 10 Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races & Downeast Maine Lobster Festival
August 11 Pemaquid Lobster Boat Race & Olde Bristol Days celebration and fireworks
August 17 Long Island Lobster Boat Races
August 18 Portland Lobster Boat Race, MS Harborfest, and Tugboat muster. View from Eastern Prom