Only in California Memorial Day Tradition

By Josh Keppel
|  Sunday, May 30, 2010  |  Updated 2:53 PM PDT
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Kinetic Sculpture Race

Josh Keppel

Machines must float, and should be able to propel themselves forward in the water. Elliot Naess pilots NuVinci Flyer shortly before his legs gave out on Day 2 and someone else had to complete the race.

Photos and Videos

Golden Flipper Award

Biking Viking, a human powered dragon made from recycled kitchen tins, has a mishap at the water entry in Eureka, CA during the 2008 Grand Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race.
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Triathlon of the Art World" participants worked into the wee hours of the night Friday as Pilots, Pit Crews and family members hurried feverishly at the Kinetic Lab in Arcata, CA hours before the start of the 42nd Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Started in Ferndale, CA in 1969 by Hobart Brown, The Kinetic Grand Championship has grown into a world-wide-whacky event that pits teams of racers in human-pedal-powered machines over a three-day, 42-mile course that includes sand, land, mud and water crossings. 

Watch Raw Video From 2009

 New Belgium Brewing (Fat Tire) sponsors the event this year with promises of beer gardens for spectators along the course.

For my money, Saturday’s start in the Arcata Plaza at the noon whistle followed by the dune crossing to Dead Man’s Drop is the best way to start a Memorial Day Weekend.

Sunday starting at 10:04 a.m. the machines take to Humboldt Bay, not only having to float with some degree of integrity, but also to be able to propel themselves forward to continue along the course.

The race finishes on Main Street after a Memorial Day Parade on Monday afternoon in picturesque Ferndale, CA, movie set to Outbreak, The Majestic, Star Trek and others.


More Raw Video Here


It does take about five hours to drive from the Bay Area to Eureka/Arcata, but there are few things that make that beautiful drive more worth it.

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