- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The reigning champion of San Francisco’s cable car bell ringing contest will face stiff clapper completion Thursday at the 52nd annual competition.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will host the contest at noon in Union Square with eight challengers on a parked motorized cable car competing.

Trini Whittaker has held the title of champion cable car bell ringer since 2012.

He’ll face Ken Lunardi and Leonard Oats, both three-time winners. Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin says the competition melds physicality, rhythm and improvisation.

Officials say Lunardi has spent the last three-decades as a cable car gripman and will soon retire. He’s looking to claim the crown and a place in bell ringing history.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three contestants in each competing class.

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