• Team Friends navigates its "Shark Tank" through downtown Baltimore.

Wheely fun!

The Upper School once again fielded a team for the American Visionary Art Museum’s 21st annual Kinetic Sculpture Race on Saturday, May 4. “Wheel-ality TV” was the theme for this year’s 14-mile trek through the streets, sand, mud, and water of Charm City, and Friends’ entry, “Shark Tank,” was up to the task.

Piloted by a pit crew dressed in professional attire and shark fin-adorned bike helmets – a costume choice that would earn them Best Costume Award for the novelty of seeing teenagers in suits and ties on a Saturday morning – the Quaker-powered spectacle was “more tank than shark,” according to Upper School Principal Steve McManus.

The toothy pontoon and its intrepid “Kinetinauts” survived the water test, plunging into the Harbor and paddling around a 40-foot pier. They also tackled the sand pits of Patterson Park without any assisted pushes. Navigating the final obstacle, a “deep, thick, slurry of mud,” proved one of the most difficult, and entertaining, legs of the race, however, said McManus. “Our intrepid, battle tested, water logged tank took it on and nearly made it through on its own—oh, for some actual tank treads! Our pit crew gave the sculpture the final push it needed and the tank emerged, battered, muddy, but victorious.”

This was Friends' fifth appearance in the race. The team's previous entries include:
Earhart Returns!
Oatmeals on Wheels (Judges’ Fill-in-the-Blank Award)
Wasn’t Built in a Day
Name Your Game (Golden Dinosaur, given to the most memorable breakdown)

Credit: Derrick Dasenbrock, KineticBaltimore.com
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