“Kinetic Sculpture” Race held at Ventura Harbor

By George Miller

The wacky, whimsical “Kinetic Sculpture” Race is really quite a spectacle. It was nice to get out and see something besides politicians, elections, crime and a flat economy, for a change. We’ll take any excuse to visit beautiful Ventura Harbor and this was as good as any. Seven intrepid entries showed up and started out. Not all fared well, while some excelled. Since the scoring entails a mysterious formula incorporating artistry, engineering and performance, we won’t know the winners until later today.

The Players Casino in Ventura was a major sponsor of the event, along with Lemoneira, Aurora Behavioral Health Care, Star, Greek at the Harbor Restaurant.  Proceeds benefit the Turning Point Foundation, a charitable organization.


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The race course was changed for 2014- most seem to think it’s better

Advertised start time was 10 AM, then 10:18, then…. Everything was late, described by the announcer as a “kinetic” schedule, but a good time was had by all.  The craftsmanship, spirit, gusto and for some-engineering- was impressive.

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A spectacularly rapid launch of Silver Streak of Simi Valley, CA at the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ventura Harbor, 10-18-14 (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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Competitors ran this mud pit after a mandatory break test and before launch and sea trial (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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“Lady Physicist” contraption flipped upside down after launching and was righted with some assistance from the pilot’s husband. (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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Dragon’s crew endures the humiliation of being towed by the Harbor Patrol, as Tourists on Island Explorer and fans on shore look on. The beautiful craft didn’t steer well- or at all.  ( Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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First to land unassisted at Harbor Cove Park (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)

Followed closely by Silver Streak, which launched later (we don’t know what elapsed times were) …..

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Silver Streak was a tough all-around competitor on land, mud, sea, beach head . ( (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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“Mutation” appeared to be well in the lead before a breakdown. (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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The most successful entries seemed to have big balloon tires, wide stance, bicycle chain drives, some with multiple gears and paddle wheels, separate or on the tires. Two competitors simply rowed. (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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Lunchtime scene at Ventura Harbor (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)


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Seal swims by while we’re eating lunch at Ventura Harbor (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)

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Had excellent takeout beef moussaka from event sponsor “Greek at the Harbor,” while listening to band ( Photo: Citizensjournal.us)












Time to think about designing and building your own Kinetic Sculpture craft now, in time for next year’s event!


George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.


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