Nova Scotia's annual pumpkin regatta sunk by extreme weather, lack of gourds

Local resident Kaitlyn Enders races her giant pumpkin in the 19th annual Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Festival regatta on Lake Pisiquid in Windsor, N.S., on Sunday, October 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

WINDSOR, N.S. - Nova Scotia's annual Pumpkin Regatta has been cancelled following a disastrous season in the pumpkin patch.

The race across Lake Pesaquid in Windsor, N.S., features paddlers using large, hollowed-out gourds as small boats.

The majority of the enormous gourds used for the regatta — most of them pumpkins — typically come from the Dill Family Farm in Windsor.

Each regatta requires about 60 gourds, each of them weighing up to 800 pounds.

Those organizing the Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Festival say the October regatta had to be cancelled because the pumpkin-growing season was hurt by a wet spring, followed by a dry summer — and then post-tropical storm Dorian left the struggling crop badly damaged.

It would have been the 21st year for the regatta.

"The Dills, like so many other Nova Scotia farmers are still surveying the damage from Dorian," the organizers said in a statement released Tuesday.

"Simply, there will not be enough gourds to supply PVCs — personal vegetable craft — to the pumpkin paddlers."

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