The Unusual Sport of Giant Pumpkin Boat Racing

New autumn harvest ritual: giant pumpkin boat races.

Giant pumpkin weigh-offs are a fall tradition in both Europe and North America. But what do you do with a giant record-breaking pumpkin that weighs over 1,000 pounds after the event? Race it in a pumpkin boat race!

Pumpkin Boat Racing: America

Pumpkin Boat Racing first started gaining popularity in America around 2004. Here’s a video from the Travel Channel documenting the fringe sport. It showcases various Halloween pumpkin boat racing competitions across the United States, including Maine and Oregon.

Pumpkin Boat Racing: Europe

But the Germans have really taken a liking to the fringe aquatic sport. According to spiegel.de, Germany plans on hosting a Pumpkin Boat Racing European Championship in 2010.

Giant pumpkins don’t make the best racing boats but they do have one advantage over wood and carbon-fiber – they can be turned into gallons of soup.


Four contestants took part in Germany’s first motor boat pumpkin race on Sunday in their outsized fruit vessels fitted with 3.5 horsepower outboard engines.

Eating What You Race

Giant pumpkins don’t make the best racing boats. But they do have one advantage over wood and carbon-fiber… they can be turned into gallons of soup. So the next time you are carving and pitting a pumpkin to make jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies, remember some people are making a race boat.