The race began 40 years ago in 1969, when world-renowned sculpture artist Hobart Brown challenged Ferndale artist Jack Mays to a race down Ferndale’s Mainstreet. In their kinetic contraptions they started a 40-year Humboldt tradition that has spread to Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Baltimore, Maryland and all the way to Perth, Australia. But it all began here among the majestic redwood groves of Humboldt County.
Day 1 of the Kinetic Grand Championship starts on the Plaza in Arcata, California at the noon whistle every Memorial Day weekend. The racers take off to the Manila dunes, where they race through miles of sand to the great and inevitable “Deadman’s Drop.” Then on to Eureka’s downtown gazebo.
Day 2 starts in Eureka at the waterfront on the Humboldt Bay, where brave Kinetic Pilots race their crafts through the water (most float). Then back on land where kinetic sculptures go up Hookton Hill, a 1 mile-7% incline and decline. Day 2 ends with a private campout for racers and volunteers only.
Day 3 starts from the mouth of the Eel River, through Morgan slough and onto dry land. Racers cross the finish line on Ferndale’s historic Mainstreet, where racers park and head up to the Final Awards Dinner at Ferndale’s Fireman’s Hall.