WINTER HARBOR — Whether summer is at its peak or is beginning to wind down may be open to debate, but there’s no question that the Maine lobster boat racing season is entering its final phase.
On July 29, racing returned to Harpswell for the first time in five years and drew a fleet of nearly 50 boats to the seventh event on the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association calendar.
This Saturday, weather cooperating, a substantially larger number of entries is expected for the eighth event on the calendar — the 53rd annual Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races, held in conjunction with the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival.
Last year, more than 100 boats signed up for the races off the shore of Schoodic Point.
This year, racing is set to get under way at 10 a.m. For spectators who don’t have access to a boat, the best vantage point is from the Frazer Point picnic area just inside the entrance to the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park.
For racers, sign-ups will take place on the Winter Harbor pier between 8 and 9 a.m.
Last year saw three close, head-to-head races between Cameron Crawford’s Wild Wild West, the hometown favorite, and Tom Clemons’ slightly larger Motivation. Crawford won all three races, with the total winning margin about the thickness of a heavy coat of paint.
This year, both boats have been running well and, if they both show up on Saturday, they should provide some entertaining racing.
On Sunday, racing is scheduled for Pemaquid Harbor where the 32nd Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races will be a feature of the annual Old Bristol Days celebration.
Sign ups are slated to begin at 8 a.m. at the Contented Sole on Pemaquid Harbor. Racing is scheduled to get under way at 10:30 a.m.