By Connie Leinbach
Ocracoke islander Karmen “the Arm” Laton, won the 2013 Women’s Arm Wrestling in June, a benefit for Ocracoke’s radio station WOVV 90.1 FM and the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department. Local Jenny Klein as “Miss Merica” won second place. The event grew this year to the largest group of contestants yet with 32 participants.
“We also had more participation from visitors this year,” said Jenny Scarborough, one of the event organizers.
Although all the numbers have not been tallied, the radio station will receive about $3,500, and the fire department received $1,000.
Sponsors included Angie’s Gym with prizes for the winners and Outer Banks Brewing Station, which donated the beer. About 24 volunteers also helped.
“We sold about 360 in admission tickets,” said Clayton Gaskill, WOVV station manager. “That’s a pretty good crowd for anything on Ocracoke. I talked to people who had been here the week before and came back just for this event.”
Contestants don costumes and announcers David Allewalt and Bill Cole, with their enthusiastic and colorful play-by-play, create a major-event atmosphere. Among the contestants were such characters as “Paula Mean,” “The Librawnian,” “Princess Slaya,” “Mind Game,” “Catron,” “Marie Ann Toilet” and “The Ringmaster.”
Islander Heather Johnson won best costume as “La Cooch Adora.”
“I had a lot of fun,” said winner Laton after the event. “I love the creativity of the costumes and it’s for a good cause.”
Laton, the reigning champion of this event, sat out last year, but this year returned to the ring to reclaim her title, besting all of her opponents in seconds flat. Klein also won second place last year. Professional arm wrestler Giles Russell and his brother were the referees.
Gaskill said video footage of past events and this year’s events are on www.Youtube.com if you search for Ocracoke Women’s Arm Wrestling.