Kinetic Skulpture race komes to a klimax in PT

PORT TOWNSEND – The sun was setting, casting shades of pinks and oranges on a thin blanket of clouds as brothers Ray and Ralph Parsons of Port Townsend were presented the 2007 Mediocrity Award, the top prize at the Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Skulpture Race that goes to the skulpture finishing in the middle of the pack.

Unfortunately, nature was not so kind earlier in the day for the 14 skulptures that participated in the 25th annual race on Sunday, or to the myriad spectators who came out to cheer them on.

“The weather is not our friend today,” said Janet Emery, Kinetic Skulpture Race high priestess for life and key organizer of the event, as 40-knot winds whipped through Port Townsend Bay.

As a result of the wind, the skulptures were not able to proceed in the water portion of the race near Union Wharf, and instead headed straight for the kwicksand at Fort Worden State Park beach after the race began at “low noon” outside City Hall.

But not to worry, the kinetic kops and others who make sure the race goes off without a hitch, with a little quick thinking, had the skulptures complete the floating exercise immediately after they triumphed over the kwicksand, in the waters just below the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

Then, it was off to the Dismal Bog mud pit at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, where the weather really took a dismal turn.

Just as the skulptures started arriving, the skies began leaking, gradually at first, but before too long, in a full-on downpour.

But the valiant skulpture racers persisted, knee deep in sticky mud that captured one racer’s shoe.

To keep the racers’ and spectators’ spirits up as rain drenched them all, the 2007 Rosehip Kween, Sparkle, aka Kris Nelson of Port Townsend, tossed candy to people – and to the very faint of heart, she showed a little leg.

Kween Sparkle recalled how she acquired her title, prevailing over the wanna-be kweens at the previous night’s Koronation Kostume Ball.

Perhaps it was her hilarious joke that edged her out front:

“Two peanuts are walking down the street and one got a-salted,” she offered.

Or, perhaps it was her unique talent of solo underwater synchronized swimming to the song, “Eye of the Tiger” that won her the crown.

How she came to be known as the 25th annual Rosehip Kween is not important.

What is important is that she looked fabulous in her silver knee-high boots and reigned with true kinetic grace.

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