By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

They may not be fast, but Crescent City Dungeness crabs can race and they make for good dinners, too.

Jeff Russell of the Chamber of Commerce said 368 crab dinners were sold Sunday at the 36th Annual Crab Races.

According to Jordan Kekry, manning the beer station, the crowd peaked around noon. Kekry said a line of people extending 100 feet waited for their turn at the dinner counter. After that, the multitudes diminished precipitously and were totally gone by 4 p.m.

Race participants pounded their fists to encourage racing crabs down their courses, and a corner display by the Harbor Commission and a couple of art booths completed the scene.

When asked if any plans for improvement will be made for next years event, Russell said he didnt know of any. As co-chair of the races, Donna Webb said she thought the general atmosphere at the crab feed could get better.

There were a few areas where it felt a little dead, but for the most part, everybody was smiling, said Webb.

Organizers had considered having background music, but Webb said the idea never took root.

Money from the event will go into the Chamber of Commerces general fund for future events like the Fourth of July festival, held every year at Beachfront Park.

Trophies for this years World Championship race went to Ricky Juarez in the childrens division with his crab Ricky, Denise Tracy of the business/government division with her crab Num Nums and Emil Savarese, winning for the second year in a row in the general division with the Brooklyn Kid.

Savarese comes to the races each year from Medford. Race caller Rick Wafler said because Savarese is from Oregon, he was watched closely to make sure he didnt cheat.

Miss Mermaid and King Neptune were crowned for their fundraising prowess. McKenzie Amos and Dustin Klienhans won the honors by helping to raise $360 for high school scholarships.

After the festivities were over, the bucket full of racing crabs were shuttled to the boat launch in Crescent City Harbor. There, Fred Wingard released the crabs back into their watery home.