TREMONT — Lobstermen here are gearing up for the seventh annual Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races, which are set for Sunday, June 25.
The event is the third in the summer lobster boat racing series, following the Boothbay Harbor and Rockland races last weekend.
With a mid-week forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s on Sunday, the boat races will be a welcome start to summer.
Prior to the race, the Bass Harbor Memorial Library will serve up a pancake breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. at the Town Dock in Bernard.
Diners will have a choice of plain or blueberry pancakes, a side of sausage and a beverage. The cost is $7 and kids under 4 eat free.
The 28 or so boat races kick off around 10 a.m., with many returning racers expected, said race organizer Wayne Rich.
Cameron Crawford of Lamoine is expected to defend his title of Fastest Lobster Boat in Wild Wild West, his 28-foot Isotta Fraschini-powered boat, which clocked in at a lightning-fast 60.6 mph last summer.
Crawford defended the title during last week’s Rockland Lobster Boat Races with a speed of 54.7 mph and the following day at the Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Races, clocking in at 56 mph.
Other area skippers are expected to race again this year.
At 14 years old, Wayne Rich’s son Colyn Rich of Bass Harbor won the gas-powered race last year in the 26-foot wooden boat Wide Open, clocking in at 36.9 mph.
While Wide Open won’t be ready for this year’s competition, Rich’s 38-foot Rich Returns will compete in the wooden boat division.
“He’s been driving since he was about 8 or so,” said Wayne Rich. “As soon as he could see over the bulkhead, he was driving.”
The 210-horsepower Bass Harbor Boat Shop vessel is Rich’s “daily bread and butter.” And while it has a smaller engine, it has been in plenty of races.
Also expected back this year is Greg Lewis, who last year won the Bass Harbor Trophy, a race only for Tremont boats, in Rachel Irene, a Mitchell Cove 35.
Last year’s winners also included Winifred Alley with Last Design in the Diesel Class D race and Steve Carver in the Diesel Class E race in Bigger Dirls, a 32-foot Holland that was destroyed by fire in Jonesport last September. Carver is building another boat, but it may not be ready to race at Bass Harbor.