Foolishness, whimsy fuel Kinetic Race

Posted 10/9/19

The 37th annual Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race put its contestants through its paces on land and sea, both on- and off-road, with displays of determination and ingenuity earning affection and applause from onlookers.

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Foolishness, whimsy fuel Kinetic Race

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The 37th annual Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race put its contestants through its paces on land and sea, both on- and off-road, with displays of determination and ingenuity earning affection and applause from onlookers.

The first full day of the event Oct. 5 saw the art parade proceed down Water Street, as a prelude to the water race that wound its way from the Port Townsend Salmon Club boat ramp, around Union Wharf at Taylor street, and back to the ramp on Monroe Street.

The Lobster Pot Family Man was first into the water, pedaling in a vehicle that resembled a hamster wheel, which drew gasps from the crowd as it splash-landed on its side as soon it entered the water, until its captain revealed that had been part of the vessel’s planned paddling configuration all along.

After a diver rescued his stuffed gnome passenger, the Lobster Pot Family Man — also known as Peter Wagner of Davis, California — earned himself the “Shark Bite” award and the “Mediocrity” prize of $100.

The prize was for coming squarely in the middle of all the competitors, even though his method of propelling himself up the launch and out of the water was anything but mediocre, since he stood on the vehicle’s side and leveraged his weight to pull it upright, then stepped on the rungs inside the big ring to get its bicycle wheels on the concrete.

The Yellow Skrubmarine won the title of “Racer’s Favorite,” because even though its pilot struggled with the vessel’s paddles being a bit high-centered in the water, and she required an assist getting back to shore, she never quit trying to pedal her way up the ramp, even when multiple entries came from behind her to make their way up the ramp, while her narrow tires had the bad luck to get stuck in every rut in the ramp.

Nonetheless, the hundreds of spectators who lined the beach and the piers gave a round of rousing cheers when she finally got her modified wheelchair up the ramp and free from the lapping waves.

The duo behind the SS Sunkest overcame a slipped bicycle chain at the outset of their launch, and nabbed the “It’s the Pits!” and “Bribe-A-Licious” awards, while More Damn Vikings From Poulsbo scored the award for “Krazy Koncept,” even as they became one of several vessels whose smooth launches were followed by rough returns on the ramp, forcing those vessels to deflate their pontoons to give their wheels sufficient traction.

The pilot of Tow Mater had to pop his vehicle’s hood to deflate his pontoons, and the goofily-eyed tow truck from “Cars” was recognized for the least time on the water and the “Breast of Show,” while Muirgan the Mermaid spent the most time on the water and also won the “Rump Roast” and “Glorious Spektator” awards.

Josh and Amber Jones took the volunteer award, while Shannon Black-Nowell nabbed the “Moxie” award and Screws Loose scored the $100 “Engineering” prize.

Marianna the Sea Turtle was handed the “Sand Crab” title, while Celestial Navigation was named the “Lucky Duck,” Precarious Aquarius earned the label of “Kroon-A-Toon” and the Spaghetti Monster was deemed “Cruddy Muddy.”

Huggin’ Dogs took the “Dress to Kill” and $20.19 “Teddy Bear” prizes, while the Port Townsend STEM Club’s vehicle, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, was last into and out of the water, and was awarded the designation of “Big Cheese: Best Local,” all while the other PT STEM Club students staged the fifth annual Mini Maker Fair at the Cotton Building that same Saturday.

The “Master Winners,” so named because they were able to finish the course under their own power, were Tow Mater, Screws Loose, Precarious Aquarius, the Lobster Pot Family Man, Muirgan the Mermaid and the Spaghetti Monster.

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