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On The Lite Side

July 20, 1987

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Two weeks after sinking at the starting line in his first try at bathtub racing, Wayne Nakatani is the winner of the 21st annual Nanaimo-to-Vanco uver bathtub race.

″It’s my very first time - unbelievable,″ Nakatani said Sunday after battling six-foot waves and strong winds to make the 32-mile crossing of Georgia Strait in two hours, 28 minutes, the third slowest time in the event’s history.

″I just wanted to do it once in my life, actually I just wanted to make it across.″

The rough seas defeated many of the 63 tubs that started from Nanaimo, including that of defending champion Craig Bunch of Richmond and pre-race favorite Steve Fagan of Nanaimo, who earlier this summer won three shorter races on the West Coast.

Nakatani had some anxious moments as he neared the finish when he ran out of gas a short distance from the Kitsilano Beach finish line.

″The tub started to fill up with water and we had to lift it out onto the escort boat and dump all the water out,″ said Nakatani. ″We got some gas in it and got it back into the water.″

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PRAGUE, Neb. (AP) - The people of this small town named for Czechoslovakia’s capital plan to celebrate their city’s centennial by baking what they hope will be the world’s largest kolache.

Kolaches are round, filled pastries that are normally about three inches in diameter, but the residents of Prague, population 290, have plans for an 18- foot kolache when they fire up the oven Aug. 1.

″We want it to weigh at least a ton,″ said Edward Prochaska, owner of Eddie’s Bar and chairman of the Prague Centennial Committee.

A special 24-by-24-foot oven has been built in the city park to cook the mammoth pastry.

Here’s the recipe:

Take three pickup-trucks full of dough and 100 to 150 gallons of cherry gelatin filling, cook four to five hours at 400 degrees until pastry turns a golden brown.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Talk about happy feet. ″Rosie Radiator″ and 14 other women formed a conga line, then tap danced for a record 7.3 miles.

They tapped down Market Street and along the waterfront for four hours and 16 minutes this weekend, winding up at Pier 39, where they were greeted by a rain of confetti.

The professional dancers, teachers, a student, a caterer and word processor kicked down their old Guiness Book record of tap-dancing 5.4 miles, set in 1985.

″My life’s work is to make tap dancing a contemporary art form,″ said Rosie, actually Bess Bair, the 41-year-old co-owner of the Tap Dance Center.

″You see women (dancing today) who have only dreamed of dancing. They’re inspired by the old movies. You see, we believed Gene Kelly when he kicked the garbage can and danced in the rain in ’Singing in the Rain.‴

Saturday’s event will be her last, she said.

″We’ve decided to pass it on to the other tap dancers of the nation. Let them (puff) carry it on.″

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