Third time a charm for Halifax pumpkin paddler

Carole Morris-Underhill
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Published on October 15, 2012

Twelve-year-old Michael Hart, a first time competitor in the motorized pumpkin class, came first place in the competition piloting Poor Investment.

Published on October 15, 2012

King's-Edgehill School's headmaster Joe Seagram couldn't hang on to his crown from last year, but he fought through the cold weather to place a solid second.

Published on October 15, 2012

Chip Peterson, aka Pumpkin Head, is the only man who has paddled in all 14 races. He finished third this year, just seconds behind KES headmaster Joe Seagram.

Published on October 15, 2012

Devan Dube, left, and Josh Baker were the first dynamic duo to cross Lake Pisiquid. The King's-Edgehill School students placed sixth overall with their Thriller-inspired pumpkin.

Published on October 15, 2012

John Millet, of Dartmouth, had some difficulty getting his pumpkin's motor started, but still managed to finish the race.

Published on October 15, 2012

Giant pumpkin grower Will Neilly, of Paradise, placed fifth in the 14th annual Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta with his personal vegetable craft he called the Acadian Star 4.

Published on October 15, 2012

Representing Avon View High School Student Council, Matt Lahey and Patrick Rooney piloted Yeti Pride to a ninth place finish. It was the first time the duo participated in the regatta, but the seventh year the student council was represented.

Published on October 15, 2012

Windsor firefighters donned wet suits and assisted the cold and tired pumpkin paddlers as they got out of their giant gourds. The volunteers lined up the vessels along the shoreline for spectators to check out following the regatta. Pictured is Joel Dauphinee.

Published on October 15, 2012

Ian Armour, representing the Windsor Machine rugby team, may have been a novice paddler but he still rowed his personal vegetable craft across Lake Pisiquid ahead of many competitors. He placed 12th overall.

Published on October 15, 2012

Princess Windsor 2012, Kate Grandy, and Greg Streatch, of Windsor Superstore, were stylish as they paddled their decorated pumpkin vessels. Both were novice paddlers.

Published on October 15, 2012

Dressed as a zombie, Lorne Marsman, of Calgary, joined the KES contingent in the competition.

Published on October 15, 2012

Billy Hines paddled the pumpkin, Classic Turkey, in his first regatta. The PVC was sponsored by the Falmouth Farmer's Market.

Published on October 15, 2012

Children, as well as adults, were eager to examine the personal vegetable crafts lining the Windsor waterfront.

Published on October 15, 2012

From costumes and decorated pumpkins to a choreographed parade route dance, KES fully embraced their zombie theme this year. Pictured are Lorne Marsman, from Calgary, who participated on behalf of KES, and student Devan Dube.

Published on October 15, 2012

Thirteen-year-old Julie Cook, of New Ross, championed peace as she made her way across Lake Pisiquid during the 14th annual pumpkin regatta Oct. 14.

Published on October 15, 2012

Twelve-year-old Michael Hart, a first time competitor who placed first in the motorized pumpkin class, had an ideal seat to watch the people-powered pumpkin class.

Published on October 15, 2012

Wolfville's Karen Davison struggled to paddle her KISS personal vegetable craft across Lake Pisiquid but she eventually made it. Her pumpkin was voted Best Decorated.

Published on October 15, 2012

Sarah MacLeod-Harvey piloted Pink with a Purpose Oct. 14 in the hopes of raising awareness of cancer. The pumpkin was sponsored by CIBC.

Published on October 15, 2012

Agnes MacEachern, the ambassador student from the local area for international students, piloted Star Wars versus Pirate Smurfs. The Nova Scotia International Student Program has 146 students spread throughout the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board area, representing counties like Mexico, Sweden, Hong Kong, Spain, Italy and Macau.

Published on October 15, 2012

Olivia Parker and Emily Walker were all giggles as they crossed the finish line last in the duo category.

Published on October 15, 2012

Olivia Parker and Emily Walker, of Ellershouse, embrace after paddling in their first regatta. The best friends may have finished last, but they pumped up the crowd with their enthusiasm.

Published on October 15, 2012

Town crier Lloyd Smith, West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee, and Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison led the Children’s Wish Foundation Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers.

Published on October 15, 2012

Megan Cater was the special child representing Children's Wish during the Oct. 14 Children’s Wish Foundation Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers.

Published on October 15, 2012

Princess Windsor Kate Grandy, right, participated not only in the parade but in the 14th annual Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta. Also pictured are her child attendant Tori Lowthers and Windsor's incumbent deputy mayor Laurie Murley.

Published on October 15, 2012

Full Circle Realty's Janet White gave out free balloons as the local realtor made her way down the parade route.

Published on October 15, 2012

Service clubs like the Windsor Lions were on hand to participate in the Children’s Wish Foundation Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers.

Published on October 15, 2012

Sarah MacLeod-Harvey piloted the CIBC's Pink with a Purpose pumpkin Oct. 14 to raise awareness of cancer.

Published on October 15, 2012

Area credit unions were well represented at the Children’s Wish Foundation Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers.

Published on October 15, 2012

Nova Scotia Tory leader Jamie Baillie joined Hants West MLA Chuck Porter on the parade route. It was the first time Baillie had witnessed Windsor's pumpkin festivities.

Published on October 15, 2012

Wolfville's Karen Davison, left, was all smiles as her pumpkin was voted Best Decorated. Although she struggled to make it across Lake Pisiquid during the regatta, she stayed afloat and carried on to finish the race.

Published on October 15, 2012

This youngster aboard the Pharmasave float was eager to help hand out candy.

Published on October 15, 2012

Windsor Rotary Club's exchange student Theo Morieux, of France, dressed as Mario for his first time piloting a carved out pumpkin across Lake Pisiquid. Competing in the annual regatta has become a tradition for the club's exchange students.

Published on October 15, 2012

King's-Edgehill School students embraced their zombie theme, performing to Michael Jackson's Thriller as they made their way down the parade route.

Published on October 15, 2012

King's-Edgehill School students embraced their zombie theme, performing to Michael Jackson's Thriller as they made their way down the parade route.

Published on October 15, 2012

Brogan Dill, the son of Valley Maple Leafs head coach Josh Dill, scoped out the Children’s Wish Foundation's Parade of Pumpkin Paddlers route. Several local Jr. B hockey players joined the tiny tot on the float.

King's-Edgehill School's headmaster Joe Seagram couldn't hold onto his pumpkin regatta bragging rights this year as Halifax's David Tilley blew the competition away, finishing the race well ahead of his competitors.

It was Tilley's third regatta but his first win. He also competed in 2006 and 2007.

“I had a lot of fun and the fact that I won makes it feel a little bit nicer,” said Tilley, moments before the award ceremony. “I'm lucky because of Leo and Avis Swinamer — they got me into this delightful sport. It's been a lot of fun when I've had the chance to do it.”

Seagram, who came first last year, finished a close second, as the crowd cheered him, and the remaining 51 competitors in the people-powered pumpkin class, on.

Third place went to fan favourite Chip Peterson, also known as Pumpkin Head. The Windsor man has participated in all 14 regattas and gets his racing pumpkins from The Dill Farm.

But the top spots didn't all go to returning competitors. In the motorized division, first-timer Michael Hart, who is just 12 years old, took the top spot. The only other competitor, John Millet, of Dartmouth, had engine troubles but eventually made it across the lake. It was his first time competing as well.

A total of 33 newcomers braved the cool temperatures to pilot their personal vegetable crafts across Lake Pisiquid during the 14th annual Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta. A few of the newbies came from outside the province, including Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and France.

VanEssa Roberts, the regatta logistics co-ordinator, said it’s always great to see the public's support for the race.

“The numbers were down a little bit,” said Roberts of this year's colder than normal regatta, but added that the enthusiasm from those present more than made up for the difference.

“You could hear them cheering for all of the paddlers coming in,” said Roberts. “We're hardy stock in Nova Scotia.”

Next year will mark the 15th annual event and Roberts said the time is now to start brainstorming for the 2013 festivities. She hopes more people will try their hand at growing the vegetables required for the race to be successful.

 “When we say grow the festival, that's one thing, but we also want to expand it. We need more growers of giant pumpkins,” she said.

When asked what the highlight was, and why people would want to participate, this year's winner said all the moments leading up to the big race are what make the event one to remember.

“There's all kinds of delightful parts of pumpkin paddling. Everything from seeing the pumpkin, carving the pumpkin, putting it in the water, just playing with it to see how it paddles. The race is just one part of it, but the whole experience is what is really fun,” Tilley said.

“I'm grateful to the people of Windsor, the people that organize this and the people that are volunteering to help out because it's really a wonderful event and it's a lot of fun.”

 

Organizations: King's-Edgehill School, The Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Festival Society

Geographic location: Windsor, Dartmouth, Lake Pisiquid Ontario British Columbia Alberta France Nova Scotia Falmouth Hants County

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