Kinetic Grand Championships

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Otherwise known as the “Triathlon of the Art World”, this grandaddy of all kinetic sculpture races takes place every year in California

What do you get if you cross a bunch of artists with engineers and sadomasochist endurance “athletes”? The Kinetic Grand Championships, that’s what.

Otherwise known as the “Triathlon of the Art World”, this grandaddy of all kinetic sculpture races (remember this one in Baltimore?) takes place every year in California’s Humboldt County.

The race’s insane (or genius depending on your perspective) teams must negotiate a heartbreaking 42-mile course of road, sand, mud and sea over three stages set over three consecutive race days.

Competitors – who clearly possess criminal amounts of free time – often spend months designing and building their magnificent contraptions.

Kinetic sculptures, for the uninitiated, are all-terrain human-powered works of art engineered to race over land and water.

Constructed of materials that most would consider “junk”, these bicycle-propelled machines are without exception elaborately decorated, and often incorporate animated moving parts such as blinking eyes.

The championships are run annually on what is, in the USA, Memorial Day weekend. This year’s event begins today (Saturday, 26 May) and finishes on Monday (28 May).

For a taste of incredible feats of human imagination and physical endurance on show during the Kinetic Grand Championships, check out some of last year’s competitors:

Kinetic Grand Championships

Kinetic Grand Championships
Kinetic Grand Championships

Kinetic Grand Championships

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Images: Tina Kerrigan)

Kinetic Grand Championships was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.