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Food Food General

Pumpkin Regatta. If you don't eat them beat them!

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by: Hans van der Broek
Pumpkin Regatta. If you don't eat them beat them!

Growing pumkins on a different level; BIG!

Child sitting on a pumpkin


The Windsor Pumpkin Regatta is an annual water race is held on Lake Pesaquid in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The course is a half mile (800 m) from start to finish. The race features brightly coloured giant pumpkins as the sole means of flotation. The race was founded in 1999 by Danny Dill, son of Howard Dill, breeder of the Atlantic Giant pumpkin.
Leo Swinamer of New Ross, Nova Scotia has dominated the competition, winning six out of the first ten races, including one at the age of 73. Despite his dominance, the race’s popularity continues to grow, with 10,000 spectators and 60 entries in the 2008 race.

Pumpkin rowing on a river

There are three classes: motor, experimental and paddling. Not all classes attract competitors each year. The paddling class is the best known and most popular in terms of entries.

The race gained a degree of notability in 2005 when Martha Stewart announced her intention to participate. While her pastel-coloured pumpkin did appear in the race, Ms Stewart could not participate as permission to enter Canada was delayed after her release from incarceration in the ImClone affair; when permission was finally granted, weather prevented her from reaching Nova Scotia on time. Various other celebrity participants have raced, notably local member of parliament Scott Brison, who has appeared in several of the races.

Woman rowing with a pumpkin on a river

The first pumpkin paddler

Windsor was not the first to feature a giant pumpkin as a water-borne craft. That distinction falls to Wayne Hackney of Winchester, New Hampshire who paddled in a pumpkin he grew in 1996. However, the regatta has inspired several other pumpkin regattas, including one at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (held since 2005) and on Lake Champlain (Colchester, Vermont).
It's the 19th year for the annual race. Teams slice, gut and paint the pumpkins, turning them into what Dill fondly calls PVCs  Personal Vegetable Crafts. 

Dill says organizers won't allow many more entries, simply because moving the gargantuan gourds is a logistical test. It takes upwards of 15 minutes to move the PVCs, which can weigh more than 500 kilograms.

Child with red jacket in front of a pumpkin

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Hans van der Broek, founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
Hans van der Broek, founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
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