A dozen of Prince Edward Island’s finest lobster fisherman put their endurance to the test on Thursday in hopes of taking home the grand prize of $1,000 at the Journal Pioneer Lobster Trap Stacking competition.
The competition, held during the kick-off of the 2019 Summerside Lobster Carnival on July 11, saw fishers from Lennox Island First Nation in the west to Fortune Harbour in the east.
Each fisherman had to move 10 95-pound lobster traps 30 feet stacking them properly. Additions were added to a person’s time for things like neatness of stacking.
This year’s competition also saw a number of first-time competitors including a first-time fisherman, Drew Bernard of Lennox Island, who said he was excited to get a chance to compete.
In preparation for the contest Shawn Gallant, who fishes out of Malpeque Habour, said he stopped going to the legion.
Although each competitor had a time under 2:10 seconds, it was the 2018 winner, Nick Reilly with a time of 1:29 seconds who took home the grand prize.
"It was a great competition. Having five less traps to move than last year made a big difference," said Reilly who fishes out of Malpeque.
"Having everybody's times a bit closer together made it really interesting and exciting."
What's more, there were only five seconds separating the first place and third place winners.
"We've given (Nick Reilly) $2,000 in the last two years," said Brad Works, managing editor of the Journal Pioneer with a laugh. "I bet he likes seeing us coming."
"It was a great event and we're happy to support our community, the Summerside Lobster Carnival and Island lobster fishermen."
Placing second and taking home $300 was Billy Profit, a fisherman out of Howard's Cove in the fall and Pinette in the spring, while Russel Purdy, a fisher out of Egmont Bay and French River, took home the third-place prize of $200.
Lobster Trap Stacking Rankings:
1. Nick Reilly - Malpeque Harbour: 1:29
2. Billy Profit - Howard's Cove, Pinette: 1:31
3. Russel Purdy - French Rive, Egmont Bay: 1:34
4. Noah Manning - Fortune Harbour: 1:35
5. Lucas Murphy - North Port: 1:42
6. Aaron Reilly - Howard's Cove: 1:42
7. Trevor Yeo - New London: N/A
8. Shawn Gallant - Malpeque Harbour: 1:54
9. Richard Arsenault - Egmont Bay: 1:55
10. Evan Smith - Darnley: 1:56
11. Drew Bernard - Lennox Island First Nation: 2:03
12. Scott Arsenault - Malpeque Harbour: 2:04