How One Texan Got Hooked On Pumpkin-Boat Racing

Russell Orms won this year’s Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta in Maine. Competitors race “boats” that are carved and crafted out of massive pumpkins.

By Alexandra HartNovember 9, 2018 11:38 am,

The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta takes place each Columbus Day weekend in Damariscotta, Maine, when giant pumpkins are carved into racing boats. After five years of competing, Russell Orms of Austin, Texas, won the regatta.

The pumpkins range from 500-2,500 pounds, and participants carve them into paddleboats and motorboats.

Orms says that a lot of carpentry goes into each pumpkin, and some people even attach outboard motors to them. While Orms says the boats don’t float very well, the upside is that the race is a fun and friendly rivalry between the boat makers. Plus, winning this year’s race was an added bonus.

“I know and love all the guys I work with,” Orms says. “It was so much fun; after five years, being able to win, it was great.”

Written by Alexia Puente.