Kinetic Race runs shorter course, still long on fun

PORT TOWNSEND — They got stuck in traffic, stuck in the mud and broke a lever during the pre-race trials.

And one of the pilots threw his back out when he sat down on the beach to put his socks on.

But other than that, how did they like the race?

“It was wonderful,” said Allen Brown. “It was a joy.”

Brown, along with Dave Neiman and Dave Maxfield, is a member of the Frogasaurus Rex team, who took the “Unluckiest” award at Sunday’s Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race. But neither the luck nor the windy weather discouraged neither the racers or the people who came to watch the race.

“It’s so out there, it’s insane,” said Reggie Yates. “Even with this weather, you known it’s going to be a fun race.”

Yates and a film crew from Britain were in town to tape the race for a show for BBC’s children’s show called “Only in America.”

They focused on the youngsters in the race, which features homemade vehicles completing a course that covers land and water, sand and mud.

This year, whitecaps on the bay led organizers to substitute the water leg of the course for a shorter paddle in the sheltered cove behind the pier at Fort Worden State Park. It’s the first time that’s happened in the history of the race, according to president Janet Emery.

“This is the worst weather in 23 years,” Emery said.

But the rain held off all day, leaving the course and spectators that gathered downtown for the pre-race entertainment dry if chilly.

There, each crew sang the required song, then skulpture pilots were issued black canes and performed the sobriety dance to “Putting on the Ritz,” the race theme.

Sgt. Ed Green of the Port Townsend Police Department fired off the starting gun, and the skulptures went tearing down Water Street.

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