HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - Napa’s Gary Miller captured the title at annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Weigh-off Monday, but fell short of topping the new world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown.
Miller’s giant gourd weighed in at 1,985 pounds, topping last year’s Half Moon Bay record pumpkin owned by Thad Starr from Oregon that weighed 1,775 pounds.
“It took 100 days to grow,” Miller said of his winning entry. “At one point it was gaining 50 pounds a day.”
Still, the massive pumpkin fell short of unseated fellow Napa resident Tim Mathison’s 2,023-pound monster that shattered the world record and won the 23rd annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off hosted by Uesugi Farms in Morgan Hill over the weekend.
That gourd was on its way to New York City Monday so Mathison showed up with another pumpkin but fell short taking second with an entry that weighed in at 1,894 pounds.
Mathison credited the Wine Country weather with the success he and Miller enjoyed this year.
“The weather was very good in Napa this year,” said he of growing the Atlantic Giant pumpkins.
Miller's winning gourd has garnered him a prize of $11,910, or $6 per pound and an extra $1,000 for the new record.
The heftiest pumpkin grown in San Mateo County was from Eda Muller's Half Moon Bay pumpkin farm, which she maintains with her husband John. Her 1,104-pound pumpkin gained her a $500 prize.
Another award went to the "prettiest" pumpkin, which is judged by the audience based on color, shape and size.
Vince Zunino, of Los Altos Hills, won that $500 prize for his good-looking pumpkin, which Beeman described as "magnificent in both the color and shape."