Top News

Windsor dentist all smiles as he wins 21st annual Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta


Windsor dentist Kevin Walsh was grinning from ear to ear after a victorious paddle across Lake Pisiquid Oct. 19.

While it wasn’t his first time racing in a giant pumpkin in the two decades the Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta has been held, it was his first win. 

“I think I was fifth, once, so I knew I was going to at least tie my personal best. I was thinking the odds would be a little easier this time,” said Walsh, standing along the Windsor waterfront, with paddle in hand.

“It was my first time making it across without (the pumpkin) being half full of water.”

Walsh, who paddled a pumpkin he named Selina in honour of Selina Kelly who had planted the successful seed at the Dill Family Farm this year, said he had a blast competing.

“I just went out fast and I never looked back. I didn’t want to see who was close or how close they were. I thought if I turned around I might sink.”

Walsh was one of five lucky contestants to compete in the regatta. He found out at noon Oct. 19 that he would be racing.

Due to a challenging growing season, there was a lack of giant pumpkins available for the race.

Instead of cancelling the popular regatta, which usually draws thousands of people to Windsor, a handful of volunteers launched Plan P in hopes of still having a festival.

The Avon 4-H Club hosted pumpkin Olympics, a challenging pumpkin-themed race near the waterfront that saw competitors dress like scarecrows and perform tasks like bowling with pumpkins.

The traditional Children’s Wish pumpkin parade was cancelled, but the regatta went ahead — just with a twist. People were encouraged to purchase tickets for a chance to paddle in the regatta. Twenty-five semi-finalists were selected Oct. 17, with the winners being drawn the day of the regatta.

Windsor Mayor Anna Allen was quite pleased with how the event went ahead.

“It’s been going on 21 years and when they came out that they weren’t going to be able to have it because of the lack of pumpkins, I was like ‘holy moly, that’s devastating,’” said Allen.

“But very quickly people stepped forward and said ‘no, something has to happen’ and they jumped on board and here we are. It’s fabulous. I think it was a great concept, good comeback and recovery,” she continued.

“I thank the volunteers very much for doing this.”

The first pumpkin regatta featured five brave participants. Over the years that number has grown to about 50 competitors ready to take on Lake Pisiquid.

All monies raised during the regatta contest raffle and 4-H waterfront activity was to be donated to the Hants County Federation of Agriculture, with the funds going to local growers.


And the winners are…

First place — Kevin Walsh

Second place — Chris Harding

Third place — Maura Macumber

Fourth place — Baptiste Dignac

Fifth place — Luke Hannah

RELATED

Recent Stories