Sierra Nevada Airstreams: Community

1998 Kinetic Sculpture Race

The Kinetic Sculpture Race began in 1969. Local Ferndale artist, Hobart Brown, wanted to make his son's tricycle look a little more interesting. Other local artists decided they could make better machines and race them down Main Street in Ferndale. This was the beginning of a very successful annual event that is now copied in other states and countries worldwide.

This race takes place over three days and covers 38 miles from Arcata to Ferndale on the North Coast of California. The race course includes highways, sand dunes, a bay crossing, river crossings, muddy slopes, and woody trails. The sculptures are human powered. As founder Hobart Brown says, “The Kinetic Race is a Glorious convergence of Human, Machine and the Forces of Nature all delicately balanced on a razors edge of questionable mental health.”

The Kinetic Sculpture Race is an amazing event for many reasons. It is open to everyone regardless of age or other factors. Everyone participates at the same level. There are no separate categories for kids or any other group. The spectators are not just passive observers. They have their own set of rules and their own role to play in supporting the racers. Because of the nature of the races, the cooperation and support of numerous groups; county and city officials, law enforcement, Coast Guard, local businesses, private citizens and others, all have to work together with race coordinators to make it happen. There are rules that have to be adhered to and enforcement is taken seriously. These rules primarily have to do with health and safety and they are applied and enforced in a positive and even humorous way. Everyone is a winner. The primary award is the “Glory” of being in the race. It is an event that everyone can enjoy and nobody will forget.

Photo Galleries of the 1998 Race

Day One

The Race begins at 12 noon in the Plaza in downtown Arcata, CA. It proceeds through the Sand Dunes and Deadman's drop to the first night camping spot

Day Two

After a safety check, racers head to Field's Landing where they will hit the water and cross the Humbolt Bay. The second night camping spot is at Table Bluffs.

Day Three

Two crossings of the Eel River, the traverse through the woods and up the Slippery Slimy Slope to the finish line in Ferndale and the victory celebrations create an exciting end to this race.

A Tribute to Hobart Brown

Times-Standard -|- Los Angeles Times -|- The Paper Chase

PSA regarding the Celebration of the life of Hobart Brown

Ferndale, CA Proclamation

Official Hobart Brown Commemorative Website

February 27, 1933 – November 7, 2007

North Coast Journal

Learn More about the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Eureka, CA

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