PORT TOWNSEND — Bribes are accepted, teddy bears must be prominently displayed and all are warned not to forget to watch out for the giant crabs.
It could only be the Port Townsend Kinetic Skulpture Race today and Sunday that returns after a one-year COVID hiatus to entertain spectators, challenge participants and demonstrate the ingenuity and folly of designing and operating a human-powered vehicle over land, sea, sand and mud.
The two-day, all-terrain low-stakes race takes competitors through the streets of Port Townsend and the water of Port Townsend Bay on Day One, today.
On Day Two, Sunday, racers must navigate a sand “kourse” at Fort Worden, mud kourse at Point Wilson Lighthouse and mud kourse at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
The race’s eccentric and free-spirited vibe is reflected in its “offishul” rules (as they’re called) that include “no sniveling, kicking, biting, scratching, or other fisticuffs” and “in case of SUN; the race will be held anyway.”
There are no winners or losers because every participant gets a prize “whether they want it or not,”although a “mediocrity award” is handed to the racer who finishes in the middle of the pack.
There are 11 official entries this year, but there will likely be more participants said race director Lisa Doray, because “racers are notorious for just showing up.”
Doray’s 19-year-old son, Max Doray, is competing in his first Port Townsend race (he’s already competed twice in the Graand Kinetic Challenge in Corvallis, Ore.) on the Spaghetti Monstah.
The Hockey Boys, another local entry, is comprised of two field hockey players who will be operating their machine for the first time.
This mark’s the 38th anniversary of the Port Townsend event, making it the second-oldest kinetic sculpture race in the country organizers said. Its combination of art, engineering and silliness has remained true to its roots, they said.
Tonight’s Koronation Mask-arade Ball will take place at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall and features the Rose Hip Kween Kontest and music by the funk band Copastetic. The cost is $10.
For more information, go to the Port Townsend Kinetic Skulpture Race website, www.ptkineticrace.org.
For a map of the route, go to https://tinyurl.com/3hervwt5.
Paula Hunt can be reached at 360-425-2345, ext. 50583, or by email at email@example.com.