SUMMERSIDE – Calling all lobster fishers and crewmen! Prove you’re the supreme lobster trap stacker and win $1,000 at this year’s Journal Pioneer Lobster Trap Stacking contest at the Summerside Lobster Carnival.
Set for 7 p.m. on July 12, following the community barbeque, individuals who work in the lobster fishing industry, a captain or a member of a crew, can participate in a challenge of strength and tidiness as they stack 15 functioning lobster traps.
“That means the traps will be cemented. So, they’ll weigh about 90 pounds. Competitors will start with a stack of traps, take one, carry it 30 feet, put it down and then do it all over again,” explained Marlene Campbell, event organizer and cultural programming co-ordinator for Culture Summerside.
The competition isn’t like a relay race where crew members tag each other out after carrying a trap. Each crew member will participate individually for the prize, Campbell specified.
Because the competition is after the community barbecue, she is hoping that there will be a big crowd to support the competitors.
“We’re also encouraging those competing to bring their own cheering squad.”
Campbell says with the carnival’s return to its roots, the stacking competition is a great way to showcase the Island’s lobster industry and its fishers and crews.
“We wanted to make the competition a serious event. Lobster fishing is hard work, and some people may not realize that. We want the general public to see for themselves. So, we’re asking people who make our lobster industry possible, the fishers and crews, to show off their skill and muscles.
“When you think about carrying 15 traps that weigh 90 lbs each, that’s about 1,350 lbs. That’s a lot to take on. We hope by showcasing the local industry professionals that we can have a bit of fun and even spark some friendly competition between harbours.”
She added, “Lot 16 lobster fisherman Ronnie Bigelow will be providing the traps and he’s assured me that he’ll try to select the lighter ones.”
Campbell expects spectators to enjoy the sport of the event while celebrating the industry.
“There are some 12,000 lobster fishers on the Island. The industry makes up about $400,000,000 annually. We really want to celebrate the people behind all that.”
The competition will be judged on fastest time and neatness of the stack. First prize is $1,000, second prize is $300, and third prize is $200.
To sign up for the competition go to the sign-up section on the carnival’s website: www.summersidelobstercarnival.website.