The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club Great Potato Race
The idea for a potato competition came from a Rotarian in New Zealand who visited Alaska.
We started out with the concept of growing potatoes in a black garbage bag.  Each contestant got a bag, two seed potatoes and some soil.   They were to nurse these potatoes, adding soil and water as needed.
2012.   Charlie Welles was the big winner, with the biggest potato at 15.05 oz. and total weight of 8.3 lb. Charlie introduced a more competitive concept – the surrogate grower.  Running a close second was Clyde Boyer with a 14.95 oz. potato and 7.2 lb. total weight.
2013.   The competition opened up to allow a Rotarian to grow the potatoes as seemed best for them.  We had two varieties:   Kueka Gold and Shepody.  Records are missing for yield in 2013.
2014.   The big potato winner was Aurora with a beauty weighing in at 17.5 oz. Close behind were Will at 13.4 oz. and Vivian at 12.14 oz.  Vivian also walked away with total weight honors with 5.5 lb., followed by Clyde at 5.30 lb. and Paul at 5.00 lb.
2015.  A new crop of competitors emerges:   Seaton, Peters and Zak.   Biggest potato went to Marvin Peters with 1lb-11.25oz. Paul Seaton came in second at 1lb-8.30oz.Brian Zak was a close third with 1lb-7.0oz.  Total weight went to the same guys; Paul Seaton in first with 24.8 lb., Marv Peters with 22.8 lb. and Bryan Zak with 13.3 lb.  The Food Pantry received 109 lbs. of potatoes.
2016   This may be the first year we had seed potatoes donated by Oceanside Farms.  We had Red Gold and French Fingerlings.  Marv Peters and Charlie Franz were slugging it out.  Marv took top honors in all categories with 51.75 total weight and the largest Red Gold – a monster at 25.15 oz.  Charlie was the king of French Fingerlings, 45 lbs. total and the largest one at 14.6 oz.   We kind of lost control of the allocation of seed potatoes this year and Charlie wound up with only French Fingerlings.
2017.   Marv Peters walked away with all honors with 9.1 lbs. of Magic Mollie’s and 16.0 lbs. of French Fingerlings.  Charlie Franz came in second with his 8 lbs. of Magic Mollies but ceded 2nd to Mike Cline in the French Fingerlings with 15.5 lbs.   The Food Pantry received 131.93 lbs.
2018.  Marv Peters was top dog with a total of 83 lbs., 36.5 reds and 46.5 whites.  Charley Franz was credited with 2nd place but would have narrowly captured 2nd but for an error made when unlabeled bags potatoes were assigned to “Mystery Man”.   The error was not noted until Charley returned from vacation.   Tom Early was third place winner in all categories.  The Food Pantry received 347.6 lbs. of potatoes.
2019.  This year Charlie made sure to be at the weigh-in with an eagle eye.  Appropriately, he walked away with all honors:  70.5 lbs. of whites (Green Mountain) and 42.5 pounds of reds (Rkubinta).  Marv Peters had a total of 69.5 lbs. and Paul Seaton moved back up into the winners circle with 66 lbs. total.  The Food Pantry received a record 381 lbs.
This years weigh-off was at the Forrest Residence.  Included in the spectators were Donna and Don from Oceanside Farms, along with contestants, and families.  Burgers by Tina and Gayle, plus delicious dishes by everyone.  What a blast!
Overall Winner Charlie, with his EXTRA HEAVY Potatoes!