The 2007 Regolith Excavation Challenge will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark, and the Santa Maria Times has an article about the upcoming event. They mention thath "This weekend's event is expected to draw BBC radio, New York Times Magazine, Wired magazine, and Discovery Channel".
aMarsOdyssey.com also has a writeup on the challenge - titled "Digging Moon Dirt" for $250,000 - Anyone Need a Job?. Speaking of Mars, the Mars Society also is posting what looks like a press release on the event (maybe the same one I've already linked to elsewhere).
Here's a blog post by someone who says they're entering the challenge. We'll know more about how serious they were in a few days ... the home towns of the competitors are listed in a press release, and there are 3 in California, but I don't see any listed that are close to Santa Maria. Maybe that registration fee came into play?
See the "regolith challenge" label below for more posts on this event.
Empirical Systems Aerospace has a short news article on their role in the challenge.