The Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race begins each Memorial Day Saturday at noon, as the racers take three madcap laps around the Arcata Plaza. From there the racers begin their three day, 40 mile (give or take) journey along the torturous course of land, water, mud and sand. These thrills, spills, hills and water crossings have been described in photos, books, movies and journals worldwide, and continue to bring thousands of visitors to the area each year, to see it for themselves.
It's human powered engineering and art all wrapped up in the most imaginative racing machines you've ever laid eyes on! It's thousands of fans lining the highways, climbing sand dunes and cheering along shorelines for a 93-foot King fish, a 3 wheeled evening slipper or a yellow submarine. It's a festival of entertainers, bands and booths filled with souvenirs and race memorabilia. It's a giddy experience guaranteed to make your face ache from smiling so hard.
The race course is long and grueling, subjecting the racers and their machines to extreme stresses; some planned, others not. But not to worry, the racers are in top shape (well, a few are.) As for the machines, design is everything. Most make the best of recycled parts from bicycles and the odd riding mower, but many sculptures have over 100 speeds, and are built with top-of-the-line bicycle components. Still others have made creative use of old auto and motorcycle parts, even whole cars! No matter what they choose to use, they all have one thing in common; they are all custom built, one-of-a-kind creations. This relationship between racer and machine makes it easy to understand the pride they feel when (or if!) they cross the finish line. But finishing isn't everything. Racers and sculptures are judged on a set of criteria encompasing engineering, art, speed and their ability to "Ace" the course. While it's been called the "Triathlon of the Art World," it's also serious business; a major community-wide event that promotes good fun, creative thinking and charitable causes.
Official Website: http://kineticsculpturerace.org/
Added by eddie on May 4, 2007