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Spectators lined the beaches in anticipation of the 16th annual Channelmans Fun Run at the Bremerton Marina last week.
The less extreme boaters were kept at a safe distance by the sheriffs boats, a Coast Guard vessel kept a close eye and a helicopter hovered overhead to witness the death-defying start through the Port Washington Narrows at low tide.
With the minus tides it was much narrower than we had ever had in the past, Don Holtz, event organizer, said.
The 68 high-performance and offshore boats participating doubled last years attendance and made the Bremerton waterfront look more like a scene from Miami Vice rather than a sleepy stopover.
Holtz was happy to see the number of spectators both on and off the water as well as the higher-than-expected number of racers.
It was amazing. In my opinion it was like a mini Seafair, he said. To have something like this in Bremerton is great.
After leaving the Port Washington Narrows, the participants circled Bainbridge Island before they negotiated the Manette and Warren Avenue bridge pillars at full-throttle once again to split the towers of helium-filled balloons that marked the finish line near the tip of Rocky Point.
Paul Whittier, a three-time offshore world champion from Friday Harbor and his boat, Long Shot, were first across the finish line. Holtz, a real estate agent in Silverdale and last years winner, came in second followed by Seattles Alan Strickland in third. All three came in around the 24-minute mark and averaged about 100 mph. The rest of the field was spread out through the hour.
Following the event, they made their way back to the Bremerton Marina where the Channelmans Club raffled off $4,000 in prizes to the competitors.
The local group of boaters also were able to raise nearly $1,500 by giving rides for donations to benefit the family of Christie Wetzsteon, a Bremerton resident who passed away last Thursday of cancer.
FC Kitsap teams first at soccer tournament
Top-caliber soccer is alive and well in Kitsap County. The FC Kitsap Premier Soccer Club sent 12 teams into the highly respected Evergreen International Tournament in Burlington on July 25 28. Four teams made their way into the finals of their respective age groups and two came home with championship trophies.
The girls U-12 team zipped through the preliminary rounds with two wins and a tie. They went on to defeat Snohomish United 3-0 in the semifinals and finished strong with a 3-0 win Sunday over Willamette United.
The girls U-13 team showed equally well in the preliminary rounds with two wins and a tie.
In the quarterfinals, they defeated FWU Reign 4-0. A close match with Eastside Red in the semifinals ended with a 3-2 win for Kitsap.
The finals pitted FC Kitsap against their archrivals FC Royals from Tacoma. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw during regulation play and went to a shoot out where FC Kitsap came out the winner.
This was an especially sweet victory for the U-13 girls because many former players from their FC Kitsap team recently moved to the Royals.
On the boys side, FC Kitsaps U-11 team made it past their semi-final opponents, FC Vancouver Crew 3-0 before losing to Crossfire Premier 2-1 in the finals.
The U-14 boys had a 1-0 semifinal win over FWU Storm, then fell 3-1 to FC Vancouver Galaxy.
Also advancing to the elimination rounds was the U-15 girls team who lost 7-2 to a very strong Marauders 87 Premier team. The Marauders went on to win the finals 4-0 over Crossfire Arsenal.