SEARSPORT — Lobster boat racing is supposed to be thrilling, but Jonesporter Ellery Alley got more than he bargained for when he was pitched out of his vessel at the Searsport Lobster Boat races Saturday morning.
Alley was at the helm of his 29-foot Underdog chasing Galen Alley’s record-holding Foolish Pleasure up the course at some 50 miles per hour when he was thrown from the boat.
Alley was pulled from the water by Maine Marine Patrol Officers Matt Talbot and Matt Wyman, taken ashore and transported by the Searsport ambulance to the Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.
Alley was released from the hospital on Monday, Talbot said. He reportedly suffered bruises and contusions, but no broken bones.
According to Talbot, the Searsport Harbor race course was slightly choppy as the two Alleys squared off in the race for boats with really big gas-engines. Part way up the course, Talbot said, the boats got too close.
Underdog heeled over “and Ellery was pitched in the water.” He was able to throttle the boat down before he went overboard, and his sternman, was able to shut the engine down with a “kill switch” mounted in the stern.
Later in the morning, with Foolish Pleasure on the sidelines, Stonington’s Andy Gove drove his Uncle’s UFO, winner of the diesel-free-for-all, to a convincing win in the fastest lobster boat race. With no serious competition, Gove held his speed down to just 37.3 miles per hour — seven miles per hour slower than in the free-for-all.
Gove’s luck wasn’t as good racing in Stonington on Sunday. In diesel Class L for boats with engines over 900 horsepower, Uncle’s UFO finished behind Albert Osgood’s Starlight Express. After coming all the way from Vinalhaven, Osgood turned in a very fast 52.5 miles per hour run. Running slightly slower, Starlight Express also whipped Uncle’s UFO in the diesel free-for-all.
Galen Alley and Foolish Pleasure were back for the Jimmy Stevens Cup race, that determines the fastest working lobster boat at the races. Alley turned in an impressive 64 miles per hour run, missing a new speed record and a prize of $1,000, by a scant two-tenths of a mile per hour.