WINTER HARBOR — Much like the postal service of yore, neither rain nor fog Saturday morning could deter 103 boats from signing up to run in the Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races.
The event, now in its 52nd year, always draws a big fleet. The races are well organized and the partying good. Added incentive this year, perhaps, was the chance for participants to win a two-year lease on a new pickup truck.
There was no shortage of competition on Saturday, but perhaps the most excitement came in the three head-to-head races between Cameron Crawford’s 28-foot, 1,050-horsepower Wild Wild West and Tom Clemons’ brand new 36-foot, 1,000-horsepower Motivation.
All three races were tight, but all the outcomes were the same. Wild Wild West crossed the finish line first, with Motivation behind by little more than a coat of paint.
In their class race, Wild Wild West clocked 54 mph, Motivation 50.3 mph at the finish.
Crawford again edged Clemons in the diesel free-for-all, with Patrick Faulkingham’s Margaret E finishing third.
The three boats finished in the same order in the Fastest Lobster Boat race, but Crawford squeezed a little bit more out of his boat’s Isotta Fraschini diesel and turned in a 56-mph clocking.
On Sunday, the fleet moved to Pemaquid for the Merritt Brackett Memorial races. Next weekend, the races head west to Long Island on Saturday, Aug. 19, and to Portland on Sunday, Aug. 20, for the final event of the lobster boat racing year.