Start your engine: It’s lobster racing season!

That’s right, racing fans, it’s time to rev your engines! The 2022 Maine Lobster Boat Race season kicks off right here in Boothbay Harbor with the Charles Begin Memorial Lobster Boat Races on Saturday, June 18.

If you are a boat captain, registration is at Brown’s Wharf at 121 Atlantic Ave. between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The first race is at 10 a.m.

This year’s color for the Tees ($20) and Sweatshirts ($35) is brown. Get yours at the registration table. They sell out fast, so get there early even if you’re not the captain of a lobster boat. Consider yourself warned!

The names of the sponsors on the back of these shirts are Samoset Boatworks, Inc., Merton’s Fiberglass Supply, Carousel Marina & Fuel, Robert Kohler Design, New York Life Ins. co-agent Kyndall Schmidt; major sponsors are Kaler’s Restaurant, Pat Farrin and Sons Dirt Work, Rope Razor, Hammond Lumber Company, Kaler Oil Co., Inc., Mainetain Charters, Barrett Transportation, Water Street Kitchen & Bar, Cook’s Landing Pizzeria & Pub, Ocean Point Homes , Gerry Gamage, City of Boothbay Harbor. The 2022 super sponsors are Red’s Eats Inc., Harold W. Bishop Agency, Nautilus Marine Fabrication, Brooks Trap Mill, Rose’s Oil Service, Inc., Mama D’s Mercantile Inc., Ames Supply, Inc., Working Man Construction Co. Inc. , EM Wood Construction, Inc, Viking Lumber Inc., Hodgdon Yacht Services, Martin Page, Janson’s Clothing and A/C MidCoast Storage. The names of additional sponsors/donors will appear on flyers distributed on race day.

Ashleeann Lowery has been a member of the Boothbay Harbor race committee since 2007 and president for ten years. She looks forward to the races and is curious to know how many boats will show up.

“We may have more this year,” Lowery said. “What I hear from Jon Johansen, he’s the president of Maine Lobster Boat Racing, and see a lot of these guys is nobody cares about gas prices. They just want to go out and live their life.

That says a lot about how lobsters look forward to racing season, especially considering the high cost of marine diesel. On June 9, the National Fisherman reported that diesel cost $5.70 per gallon; in May it was $5.93 per gallon. A full boat would cost hundreds of dollars.

The race course runs past Tumbler Island toward the finish line at the Maine State Aquarium on McKown Point Road in West Boothbay Harbor where the race committee will be located.

Here’s who will likely race to retain their championship titles from 2021: fastest lobster boater, Boothbay: blue eyed girl/Andrew Taylor (47mph); Fastest lobster: Blue eyed girl/Andrew Taylor (51mph); Free gasoline for all: Insane pleasure/Mark Freeman (46mph); Free diesel for all: Maria Nightmare II/Jeremy Beal (50.1mph); Diesel Class K – 701-900 hp, 28 feet and more: blue eyed girl (56mph).

To relive last year’s event and refresh your memory, visit…

If you can’t be on a boat, many racing fans watch from the aquarium. Bring binoculars and look out from Brown’s Wharf and Whale’s Tale next door. Race information will be broadcast on VHF marine channel 10.

First place winners in the Fastest Gasoline, Fastest Diesel and Fastest Lobster Boat Afloat categories will each win a cash prize of $200 or a gift certificate for a prize of comparable value.

“Some people follow the boat races weekend after weekend, it’s not just the committee members,” Lowery said. “You are part of a family and we are lucky to be the first race of the season, so a lot of people come for that.”

Never been? You have to go. Check out photos from last year’s lobster boat races taken by Michael Leonard:…

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