Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PT' s Kinetic Skulpture Race Awards

And now, back to the Race. We headed to Fort Worden State Park, with Mount Baker in the distance, for the third leg of the four-stage race.
We had covered the preparations for The 31st Annual Great Port Townsend (WA) Kinetic Sculpture Race (entry 2 days ago) and then took a break for lunch at the Blue Moose Cafe (yesterday's entry). [The vehicles in the race of Kinetic Skulptures--human powered, artistically enhanced vehicles--must (1) float on water, (2) transverse hilly, silly neighborhoods, (3) go through sand (Kwick Sand), and (4) mud (The Dismal Bog).]

There was an air of anticipation as the crowd gathered at the beach.

The race's theme centered on "Kinetic Kartoon" and the vehicles had names related to "kartoon kharacters". So it was not unusual to see Marvin the Martian in attendance at the race.
Marvin the Martian

Each race vehicle had to cover the 15-20 yards and then return on the course in any way possible. (Other than that, the objective was unclear--even the Kourse Kommissioner felt it unnecessary to clarify this.)
Kourse Kommissioner

Kinetic Kops were in charge of "krowd kontrol" and would issue tickets for any infractions or outfractions from the racers or specktators.
Top Cop

However, while the Kops' Kode of Konduct states that "Racer infractions will be reported to the judges," another part of the Kode states that "bribes may be taken to overlook infractions."
Kinetic Kop

The photos below show all the competitors that were still in contention at stage three and the awards that each won. (I have no idea about the meaning of the name or the basis for each award, but I understand that the most coveted award is the Mediocrity Award, given for finishing right in the middle.) So, with the emcee preparing to announce each participant,

I will continue with the history of the Kinetic Skulpture Race:

The origins of this colorful contest of human and machine dates back to Mother's Day 1969 in the quaint Victorian town of Ferndale, California.
Entry: Puff’s Pirate Ship
Awards: Most Time and Big Cheese

Before that first race, a local artist named Hobart Brown made a few artistic improvements to his son Justin's tri-cycle. After completion, Hobart displayed the newly created pentacycle in front of his art gallery.
Paddy Wagon
Sand Crab and Cruddy Muddy

A nearby shop owner named Jack Mays created his own kinetic art sculpture and challenged Hobart to a race down Main street.
Natasha & Borisette
Kharacter Kooks and Teddy Bear

As word caught on, other area artists joined in the race. Soon there were a dozen human powered art sculptures entered to race down Main street that first time. It is noted that neither Hobart nor Jack won that first race.
Quill Billy Gruff
Quick Fix and Moxie

As the vehicles evolved, the more challenging elements of water and mud were introduced to the race course. In the interest of economy and self-sufficiency, the requirement to carry everything needed to negotiate a multi-terrain environment was deemed necessary.

Toon Taxi
Mediocrity and Artsy Fartsy and Bribe-a-licious

A kineticnaut (or kinetic pilot) had to be prepared for many hazards or breakdowns. Mastering the course without assistance is paramount to the philosophy of Kinetic Sculpture Racing.
Fire Power
Least Time and Engineering

Later, in 1983, the Greater Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race was held, making the Port Townsend the third oldest race on the ever growing Kinetic Racing circuit.
Bedrock Bedlam
Shark Bite and Lucky Duck

The Port Townsend race still holds to the original values and spirit of the first race held in Ferndale. Relying on grass roots support, the Port Townsend race is one of the few remaining kinetic races that are not owned by a corporation. It is an independent race, with the volunteer organizers priding themselves on keeping the grass roots & kinetic spirit alive.
Back to the Drawing Board
RRRrrrr! and Kourse Kommissioner and They Came from Outta Town

Today, forty-four years after the first race, Kinetic Sculpture Racing has become a worldwide phenomenon. Races are now being held in not only Ferndale and Port Townsend, but the kinetic sculpture-racing concept has spread to Boulder, Colorado; Corvallis, Oregon; Ventura, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and Portland, Oregon.
Plan A

(Note: The chain that turned one of the wheels (above) broke, so the pilot stood on the wheel shown here and "walked down" the wheel to move the vehicle forward.)

Racing Bird
Van Go Go and Glorious Specktator and Racer’s Favorite

The kinetic race has become an international event with the addition of the Poland race and the Perth, Australia race. More races that are international are coming in the future. Races are now being organized in England, Germany, South Africa, and Japan.
Boots & Booty
Rump Roast

Kinetic sculpture racing has become a conduit for peaceful international competition and lasting relationships. (
Puff the Magic Dragon
Breast in Show

One last piece of advice...carry lots of duct tape and remember this race was created by Hobart Brown to show "Adults having fun so that children will want to grow older!"

As of this writing, it is 345 days, 12 hours, 49 minutes, 13 seconds until Port Townsend's 2014 Kinetic Skulpture Race.

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