Team Minions in Black from Gig Harbor plunge full speed into the water course part of the 2017 Kinetic Sculpture Race in Port Townsend. (Peninsula Daily News file photo)

Team Minions in Black from Gig Harbor plunge full speed into the water course part of the 2017 Kinetic Sculpture Race in Port Townsend. (Peninsula Daily News file photo)

Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race set for this weekend

Works of art poised to take on water, sand, mud

PORT TOWNSEND — The 37th annual Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race this weekend will host several moving works of art that will race through water, neighborhoods, sand and mud.

The race is split between Saturday and Sunday with the water portion, parade and brake test on Saturday and the land race on Sunday.

Each skulpture and pilot have a registration fee of $20.19, with additional team members costing $20.19 each.

The annual race is always a giddy collection of outlandish vehicles, costumes and rules.

For instance, the rules of the race include: “Remember that the offishuls are doing the best they can. If things are not going your way, take it personally. They are picking on you.”

The first entry in the Kinetic Kops Kode of Conduct is “Kinetic Kops tell no lies, but we don’t have to tell the truth.”

And the greatest prize possible is the Mediocrity Award, given to the skulpture that finishes in the exact middle of the pack.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 14 skulptures had been entered into the race. Head Judge Marilyn Kurka expects to see many racers register Saturday.

“No matter how hard I try, there still are procrastinators,” Kurka said. “With how many who have already registered being very good, we’re expecting this year to be a banner year.”

Kinetic racing involves skulptures that are human-powered, can float on water and travel through different terrain.

They are “a mixture of bicycle parts, Styrofoam, duct tape, imagination and prayers,” Kurka said in a press release.

The theme for this year’s race is “Kinetic Kinautikal” and participants are encouraged to incorporate it into costumes and their skulptures.

“Kinautikal officially means how to navigate the sea,” Kurka said. “We’re using anything above and about the sea, such as pirates, mermaids and whales.”

On Saturday, parade participants will line up at the U.S. Bank parking lot at 1239 Water St. at 11 a.m., and then will move down Water Street to the American Legion at 209 Monroe St. at about noon.

Everyone is welcome to join the “home grown/family parade” but political/religious messages and advertising are not allowed.

After the parade, racers will conduct a brake and flotation test. The brake test will involve the skulptures riding down Monroe Street to stop at the city skateboard park.

The flotation test and water race will be after the brake test and will consist of the skulptures entering the bay near the Salmon Club at 431 Water St. near the Northwest Maritime Center.

For some, this will be the first time their skulptures have been tested in the water.

Saturday evening will be a 21 and up event called the “The Rosehips Kween Koronation Ball” starting at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall with music performed by Marmalade (a 13-piece funk band from Fremont). Costumes are encouraged.

Kween contestants will fight for the Rosehips Krown starting at 9:30 p.m. with the Koronation at 11 p.m.

Admission to the ball is $15 at the door, and pre-sale tickets are available online at .

Sunday’s activities will begin at 10 a.m. with the racers lining up at the American Legion to show off their skulptures and pageantry to the crowds.

Racers will begin at “low noon” at Lawrence Street near Aldrich’s Market, race to a sand course at Fort Worden, then travel through a mud course at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, down San Juan Avenue, up Walker Street to Lawrence Street and finish by coming down Monroe Street to end at the American Legion Hall.

The survivors’ post party and award ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.

A full map of the route can be found at

To register and to find more information, see


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].

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