The sights, sounds and smells of spring are now upon us, and have young men and women’s hearts all aflutter thinking about love… like the love of watching high-performance snowmobiles kicking up waves and denying gravity and physics at a snowmobile watercross race!!
That’s right, just because the snow is becoming an increasingly distant memory doesn’t mean that there aren’t good snowmobile events to attend. Sledheads can attend vintage events, or all sorts of straight-line racing on grass or asphalt.
Or, they can turn their attention to the lake, where talented athletes run lap-after-lap around the buoys in a show of skill, power, balance and courage. If you haven’t been to a watercross race, you definitely owe it to yourself to take one in this summer. Not only are they a lot of fun to watch, they are also typically held in somewhat of a carnival atmosphere.
Below is the schedule for the Upper Midwest-based International Watercross Association (IWA), followed by the schedule for event at the Yancy’s famed Flat Rock Inn near Lowville, New York, and details on the big Race Into Winter event that includes Watercross in New Hampshire. There’s also events in places from Idaho to Scandinavia, so don’t feel locked out if you can’t get to one of these.
June 2-3 – Moose Lake, Minnesota, the season kicks off again with the Cold Water Challenge in east-central Minnesota, where the ice just recently came off the lake.
June 16-17 – Brainerd, Minnesota, dubbed the Wet & Wild Spring Watercross, it’s the first of two events to be held again this year at the awesome Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) facility, which also happens to have its usual party atmosphere over the weekend.
June 30-July 1 – Menomonie, Wisconsin, hosted by the Menomonie Lions Club at Wakanda Park for the second straight year. Last year’s Menomonie event had a huge crowd, and another festive street dance is planned.
July 20-22 – Grantsburg, Wisconsin, the 42nd running of the World Championship of Water Cross at Memory Lake Park is the biggest event – and biggest party – of the season.
August 3-4 – Rock Valley, Iowa, hosted by the Sioux County Snowmobile Club at the highly scenic Rivers Bend Campground in Iowa’s northwest corner. It’s a Friday-Saturday, unlike the others.
August 11-12 – Ely, Minnesota, hosted annually by the dedicated Ely Watercross Association, it’s a favorite stop for many, with racing within sight of the non-motorized buoys of a Boundary Waters lake. Live music is also often part of the scene.
September 22-23 – Brainerd, Minnesota, the season wraps up with another stop at the famed BIR, with racing on the pond on the west side of this massive motorsports facility.
Snowmobile watercross racing has a long history in the Northeast, and especially at the Flat Rock Inn in rural Lowville, New York. The Flat Rock has three events scheduled for their pond this year. They are:
June 9-10 – Lowville, New York, the Spring Classic.
July 14-15 – Lowville, New York, Smoke on the Water.
Aug. 11-12 – Lowville, New York, the New York State Championship.
Finally, the season wraps up for many with the huge Race Into Winter event, often just referred to as “Epping” in New Hampshire. The watercross is a part of a much bigger event that draws tens of thousands of people and includes a huge grass drag, show, swap meet and more. That event is:
October 5-7 – Freemont, New Hampshire, Race Into Winter. Plus, this event will hold this year’s East-West Challenge, meaning some of the Upper Midwest’s top IWA racers plan to made the long journey to the East.
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