Slugs wow race fans in Joyce

Race official Erin Bertleson, right, of Joyce watches with clenched fists as Seattle Spew and Slug-o-War jostle for the finish line. All proceeds benefit Clallam County Fire District No. 4 in Joyce. (Sam Nugent)

Race official Erin Bertleson, right, of Joyce watches with clenched fists as Seattle Spew and Slug-o-War jostle for the finish line. All proceeds benefit Clallam County Fire District No. 4 in Joyce. (Sam Nugent)

JOYCE — Race fans in Joyce were treated to a real nail-biter this year at the annual Extreme Slug Racing Event at the Joyce Family Kitchen during Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival on Saturday, according to Sam Nugent of the Joyce Fire Department.

First race went to Elvis, a slug sponsored by Vivian Hansen of Port Angeles — who is also customer service supervisor at Peninsula Daily News — who took an early lead and never looked back. But it was the second race that got the crowd to their feet, Nugent said.

Seattle Spew, a large yellow banana slug, went neck-to-antenna down to the wire with Slug-o-War, a small but feisty leopard slug. Crowds cheered as Seattle Spew took the last stretch to win by a nose.

Seattle Spew went on to win the third race as well, dominating this year’s field of banana slugs, leopard slugs, black and brown arions, and a reticulated taildropper.

In an unprecedented move, race officials reacted to the crowds chants and ran a fourth heat, which was won by “Kiki,” a slide-in entry from a pair of young sisters Madeleine and Oona of Joyce.

The event is held each year at the Family Kitchen in Joyce to benefit Clallam County Fire District 4. Other sponsored slugs included Wilder’s Jetta, Bedford’s Beauty, Fogtown’s Slugguccino and Family Kitchen’s Turbo.

In all $802 was raised at the races which will be added to the $1,919 raised by the Joyce Auxiliary Bake Sale making a grand total of $2,721 from Joyce Daze events to Clallam County Fire District 4.

No slugs were harmed during the races, and all were released back to their natural habitat after the races, Nugent said.

For more information about the Extreme Slug Racing, contact Nugent at nugent.sam@gmail.com.

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