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Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race
2018 Kinetic Pilgrimage: Saturday May 26: Beach to Dead Man’s Drop



Here's a Sculpture!
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Saturday May 26: Beach to Dead Man’s Drop

From Arcata, the racecourse heads to the Pacific beach, where racers stay fairly close to the water where the wet sand provides better traction. Melvin has switched to much broader sand tires.

All the way from Massachusetts, Lobster Roll celebrated the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race. Even a broken trailer axle in Redding didn’t stop them— support from other Kinetic racers got them to the starting line.

Speed Racer showcased the anime’s Mach 5 coke bottle styling

Mother nature and Hobart conspired a bonus beachy challenge. A prior storm left a steep shelf extraordinarily difficult for sculptures to traverse.

Team Goddess Star Power had pit crew smooth out the sand in front, a perfectly legal maneuver you’ll see more of later.

Bounce For Glory Golden Edition has a wickedly simple propulsion system: the rear axle is mounted off-center, so Peter Wagner has bounced along the racecourse for decade after decade.

You won’t often see sculptures heading North along the beach. Bounce for Glory pioneered a path taken by many ACE teams to get around the shelf by continuing south past the cut-in to Dead Man’s Drop, then climbing up and doubling back north.

Flying Spaghetti Monster (Plan C) with a large sail also had a new front wheel system specifically designed for greater speed through June’s Dunes.

As in Baltimore, Kinetic Kops traverse the course looking for citable offenses.

Medics watched carefully as The Rusty Pickle was the first crashing down Dead Man’s Drop…

…with good cause. Seconds later, The Rusty Pickle flipped over and the Medics dashed in to provide first aid.

After a crash, Kinetic medics first ask “Are you ok?” like medics anywhere. But if the answer is yes, their next question is “Are you ACEing?” and if that answer is yes, they provide a treatment regimen that preserves ACE status. For instance, they have to determine where the sculpture stopped, so once it’s flipped back over, the team can resume without improper advancement.

Rusty Pickle won Golden Flipper (Sand).

Keep your eyes on Speed Racer. Even though they’d aced 4 prior years, you’ll see it would soon be towed.

Team Goddess Star Power had one of the most dramatic sand crashes.

Melvin cruised straight down in their proven machine.

Super Moi—Louise (Plan F) also got into trouble…

…and flipped completely upside down.

If you brake too hard on the way down, you risk flipping. A Toast to Hobart came close.

Despite the SLOW warning sign, Caltrans Solid Gold Pineapple Wrecking Crew went wildly out of control and crashed into the bushes, running straight over a fellow photographer in the brush. This shows the extraction, as Tom missed the action shot diving out of the way. The photographer was unharmed, but the camera suffered. Take heed: Art is Dangerous!

Sparky the Rescue Dog has raced 8 years and achieved 3 ACEs. Foam sand tires are held on with zip ties.

For larger sculptures like Hippypotamus, the safety team joined hands to create a barrier separating the crowd from errant sculptures.

As one of the tallest and widest sculptures, Hippypotamus also pushed aside the overgrowth.

To avoid the fate of prior high center-of-gravity sculptures, Black Tie Affair went down with one pilot serving as ballast around the curve and a rope to keep it from tipping over.

Two-pilot Norman the Half-Fast Unicorn used the same tires for the entire racecourse and shot fire from his horn.

Swing Kids did a Charleston Line dance before descending, and celebrated Shoshanna’s Redwood Raks dance studio

The Monster Zinc team has raced 16 years.

Team Tempus Fugitives’ Glory Diver has aced 5 years, and shows another challenge on the first day: brush between the sand and roadway.

The great foam and papier mâché cat head atop Lion Kings reached 13 feet tall and glared down the slope.

The Fledgling Flamingo Flyer went down slowly.

Herrmann’s Merry Mollusk bears a hat, beard, and camera commemorating Herrmann Spetzler, founder of Open Door Community Health Centers who passed away in March.

Yellow Brick Rode was racing for the first year.

The team for Cyclops evened the sand using a cardboard sled with 2-passenger weight.

Cyclops came down the smoothed path.

Team Terrapin’s Let My Inspiration Flow featured dancing bears, a catsuited deadhead, and inflatable terrapins.

and mayhem ensued.

Banana Flash used broad rigid plates for sand traction.

The A-Team required aggressive human brakes.

Cro-Magma of the Stoned Age easily drove down the slope.

The Dimlits team from Colfax High School piloted a shattered light bulb through the race, taking great care down Dead Man’s Drop.

With a high center of gravity, Sparkle the Horse had two rope lines: one in back to slow her, and one on the front right to keep her from tilting left on the right turn.

Gilded Ghost Guild aka Kinetic Paranormal Society also went down with tow lines. You can see the sock puppet here.

One of the last teams to descend, New Mexican Roadrunner got guidance from a medic.

After Dead Man’s Drop, the racecourse crosses Samoa Bridge into Eureka. Here Kinetic Encounters of the Fiftieth Kind makes the trek for their twelfth race.

Cro-Magma of the Stoned Age didn’t quite fit on the shoulder.

At sunset, most teams, including Flying Squirrel and Lion Kings parked for the night below Eureka’s Victorian Carson Mansion, completing Day 1 of the 3-day race.

Check out this gearing fiesta under Flying Squirrel! (We’re not sure why the vise grip is there.)


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Want to See the 50th Anniversary Humboldt Race?
The Kinetic Grand Championship is held Saturday–Monday every Memorial Day weekend. The 2019 race starts noon Friday May 25 in Eureka, California and finishes Monday May 27 in Ferndale.
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  1. Saturday May 26: Arcata Start
  2. Saturday May 26: Beach to Dead Man’s Drop
  1. Sunday May 27: Eureka Water Entry
  2. Sunday May 27: Eureka to Crab Park
  3. Monday May 28: Eel River Crossing
  1. Monday May 28: Finish at Ferndale
  2. Pageant Before & Awards After
11/20/2018 11:20:31 AM   11/21/2018 12:37:35 AM   1:5   2:1   3:1   4:   5:   6:1   7:1   AllInOne:
The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race is sponsored and run by the American Visionary Art Museum. KineticBaltimore.com is the volunteer work of Tom Jones.
If you have any suggestions about making this site better, or any questions, you can e-mail Tom at tjones@spril.com.