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click to enlarge The Humpbacks of Notre Dame prepare to cross Humboldt Bay after a smooth entry

Photo by Mark McKenna

The Humpbacks of Notre Dame prepare to cross Humboldt Bay after a smooth entry

The rest of the world is trying to get back to "normal" but here in Humboldt, we're just happy to go out in the fresh air and get weird again. After two years of paused and remote races, the human-powered Kinetic Grand Championship once again rolled around the Arcata Plaza, down the Manila Dunes, into Humboldt Bay, up and over the hills and across the finish line on Ferndale's Main Street. A flying saucer, giant praying mantis and a sushi stand were among the fleet of fast and flaming, freak-flag-flying machines. There was no shortage of Glory or awards for it — the 26 categories cover everything from Engineering (congratulations, Cowbell Moosical Theater), Art (ham it up, KHAM), the Golden Dinosaur for the first post-plaza breakdown (tough break, Challah for the Glory) and the Golden Flipper awards for best capsizes on sand and sea (Lemonheads and Miss Guided's Quantum Quest, respectively). In the end, Humpbacks of Notre Dame took the Grand Championship with a breakneck time of 11 hours and 27 minutes. Intrepid photographer Mark McKenna followed the racers on their wild journey, documenting the madness for posterity and, of course, Glory.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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About The Authors

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

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