If I live another 60 years, I will never see another October 9th as nice as what we experienced this year. As everyone in the Northeast knows, we have been blessed with record-breaking temperatures for the last several days. It made for a magnificent day for racing giant pumpkins in Damariscotta (off the Maine coast). Last week, I shared a photo of Moby Dick — my 535 lb giant pumpkin boat.
We had two heats of four paddlers each. While I led in the first heat, I took a wider turn around the buoy to avoid a collision. The buoy moved in 20 feet and when I got around, I had to catch up to everyone else. So, I finished second in the first heat. The finals were all about paddling my heart out. I started in front and never looked back. Here is a write-up from Reuters’ news wire, followed by a few photos.
DAMARISCOTTA, Maine (Reuters) – Farmers Almanac editor Peter Geiger splashed his way to first place in a giant pumpkin fashioned to look like a whale in the annual Pumpkin Regatta on Sunday, besting four other boats.
Geiger, who said he has raced pumpkins in Maine and Canada, started with a 535-pound giant gourd for the race at the annual Pumpkinfest in the small coastal village of Damariscotta, Maine.
“After taking the guts out and carving it down, it was about 70 pounds less,” said Geiger, who lives in Lewiston, Maine.
First-time racer Christian Rioux of Brunswick, Maine, finished first in the powered-pumpkin class. He strapped a 15 horsepower outboard motor to a shell fashioned from an 800-pound pumpkin.
About 1,000 people lined the shore of Damariscotta Harbor to watch the pumpkin boats painted to look like a pig, a peacock, and an old schooner.
The 10-day festival celebrates all-things pumpkin from elaborately carved giants of 600 pounds or more lining the streets to a derby, catapults and a 220-foot drop.
(Reporting by Sarah Mahoney; Editing by David Bailey)
The Travel Network was also covering the event, and when I learn when it will be posted, I will let you know. Meanwhile, if anyone ever asks you to paddle in a pumpkin regatta, say yes! It is like no other competition!