By Brian Cameron
For its 32nd year, the annual Garibaldi Crab Races took place last weekend and left everyone involved happy and content with their crustacean contestants, prizes and full bellies.
“Our first time going to the Crab Races was about five years ago,” said event volunteer Lacey Bowman. “We had so much fun because it was a great way to get the kids out of the house on a rainy day as well as give us adults a fun thing to do and a great way to meet new local folks, its definitely become a family tradition.”
It was reported that more than 200 visitors took part in the event over the course of the two days and with that came nearly 200 race-heats that went into making the Crab Races a success.
The contestants participated in four different types of Crab Races, the Sweepstakes Race was a first come first serve event and cost $1 to contend, the winners received a variety of prizes like gift cards, knick knacks and other donated items. The Super Sweepstakes Race which cost $5 and $10 to enter and gave away larger prizes like free moorage at Garibaldi Marina, gift baskets and even a guided fishing trip.
The two Championship Races, one for adults and the other designed for kids. The winner of the adult Championship Race received a plaque, trophy, $100 and the right to be known as a local Crab Racing Champion. The kids Championship Race winners were divided up between boys and girls and the winners got brand new mountain bikes as prizes.
This year’s Champion Crab Racer went to Troy Shelley and her crab contestant “Crabzilla.” The second place winner was Jeff Ingebrigtsen with his crab “Smokey” and the third place winner went to Shasta Howe with “Rock Star.” The younger Champions were Cooper Carlascio and Kaitlyn Rhoade who won with “Pincer.”
“It’s a particular type of fun chaos,” said Bowman. “But I feel the chaos adds to the excitement. You had old timers who come to the event every year, new arrivals who are asking all kinds of questions and generally confused with the commotion and an aging group of organizers which combined altogether creates a sort of controlled chaos, but an exciting one with good energy.”