Its like NASCAR on the Atlantic… as Maine lobster boats race on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon in Maine, in front of hundreds of floating fans. Boats raft up to one another, coolers are brimming with beers, and BBQ grills are as fired up as the lobster fishermen throttling their boats down the marked channel for bragging rights. Spectators cheer for each set of speeding boats – typically two to four boats race at a time – plying the waves and each other’s wake – charging for the finish line and the best time.
There’s no cost to attend. It’s a free for all, free for all! Most of the these Maine fishing and lobstering vessels are designed to fish …not to go fast. That’s what makes it fun – funny even! Seeing a lobster boat speed at upwards of 30 mph is exciting… especially when competing head to head amongst friendly fishing friends – turned competitors.
Lobstering is hard work, on often cold mornings, in harsh seas, fog, rain, Maine weather, so its nice to see lobster fishermen on a day off, having fun, enjoying their boats in a friendly competition in front of their fans and families.
The best place to watch the Lobster Races is on a boat. Some Maine harbors also charter special boat trips and ferries on race day to bring spectators out to the fleet field. Best bet, find a friend with a large barge or comfy cruiser, offer to bring lunch and beverages in trade for a ride and front row seat.
Or hop on an ferry. Bring a cooler, snacks, sunscreen, a swimsuit for a quick “cool” dip between heats, and a hat – its a long day viewing in the sun – often starting with small work boat class, a wooden boat division, diesel vs gas classes, and building up to the bigger beefier working boats, ending with a tug boat tug of war for the win. The sup’ed up lobster boat heats are by far the loudest, a real crowd pleaser…
June 19 Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Races
June 21 Rockland Lobster Boat Races
June 27 Bass Harbor Lobster Boat Races
July 3 Moosabec Reach Lobster Boat Races
July 11 Stonington Lobster Boat Races
July 17 Friendship Lobster Boat Races
July 24 Harpswell Lobster Boat Race best viewed at Dolphin Cove Marina Restaurant – one of our fave waterfront restaurants in Maine!
Aug 4 Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland
Aug 21 Long Island Lobster Boat Races
Aug 21 Portland Lobster Boat Races
Sept 3-12 Boothbay Harbor Festival
Nov 4-7 Portland Harvest on the Harbor – Maine Lobster Chef Award