ARCATA - It’s the 46th year of kinetic sculpture racing on the north coast and Friday is the racers final day to get prepared..
The three day, 42 mile, Kinetic Grand Championship kicks off Saturday at noon in the Arcata Plaza.
Members of the Kinetic Sculpture Lab are always crowd pleasers and have been involved in race for over 30 years.
"What we're doing this year, is we've gone steampunk. And the shark which was pretty and silver last year and shiny and all beautiful, has gone grungy and we're punkin’ it out," said 30-year-racer, Ken Beidleman, Captain of Team 420.
35-year-racer, June Moxon is back with her pink elephant and mischief of mice.
"A whole bunch of mice is actually called a mischief and so, it just fit us perfectly. So my whole team has made all these mice and they're going to ride on their helmets," said Moxon.
The Kinetics Sculpture Lab has five teams and they're adding the finishing touches to not only their structures but their costumes.
“I used to try to win the race, but now I just want to win the art, that's all I really try for,” said Beidleman.
Despite experience, racers have faced many difficulties in the past.
Moxon speaks of last year’s race and says, “Well it turns out, three of our pontoon arms collapsed and they were being held on by one zip tie.”
“We've bent or twisted or bent and twisted our axles for the last five years,” said 20-year-racer, Brian Slayton of Team Funguy.
It's about trial and error and making adjustments.
“We've got new floating devices out of chromosomal steel, so it’s all aircraft material, so it should make us fly even better,” Moxon said.
“We went from a one inch all the way to an inch and a half, which is almost overbuilt because other big wheel machines run an inch and a quarter axle. That’s the biggest thing that's going to allow our axle to beat the sand,” said Slayton.
We even got a sneak peek at the awards.
"These are the best awards these are the ones that you get for being best art and best engineering or best speed. There's only one for each category,” said Beidleman.
After the Arcata plaza festivities, racers will head to the Manila dunes to attempt dead man’s drop, then finish at Halvorsen Park for day one.
There will be a few road closures over the weekend to accommodate the racers.
Peninsula Drive to Jackson Ranch Road on Saturday, May 23. One-way traffic control will be in effect. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.
Ferndale between Ocean Avenue and Shaw Avenue on Monday, May 25, from 12 PM to 5 PM. A full road closure will be in effect.