Farmers Almanac editor paddles pumpkin to victory

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 09, 2011 4:28 PM

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)