The Vermilion Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club hosted the first SSRA race of the season at the Vermilion Airport on January 27.
Even with poor snow conditions, approximately 75 sleds registered, and Straightline Snowmobile Racing Associate (SSRA) owner, Dale Roger said, “We’re thrilled to be here in Vermilion. I was here for the vintage show, and raced here many years ago. Vermilion has always been a great place to come!”
The weather created poor snow conditions, leaving a soft track and racers facing wind gusts up to 60 kilometers per hour. Unable to use their light trees, the SSRA opted to use a green light – go system, and went down to two lanes per race instead of four to ensure everyone’s safety.
Professional racer, Jason Rowland, from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan began racing two years ago when his father started racing again. After he saw how fast they were going, his father let him try it off the track.
“When I went full throttle I realized that I liked going fast, and I have been doing it ever since. Snowmobile racing is very exciting with a lot of adrenaline, and it’s a very friendly sport. I enjoy visiting after; everyone is really helpful and offers assistance to one another with their sleds,” said Rowland.
Amateurs also had the opportunity to try racing, and Derwent’s Brendon Tomusiak said, “I ride sleds a lot and figured I’d have fun and fire it up to see how it works.”
Five-year-old Luke Jaremco from Rusylvia was excited to race his ZR 200 Arctic Cat. He has been snowmobiling since age 3 – 4 and said, “I love it because they go fast!”
Entering her first race ever, Vermilion’s Leah Beaudoin added, “There are some nerves, but I’m very excited and hope to have fun.”
Ridge Riders president, Warren Young thanked the volunteers for their effort, and sponsors for their contributions. He also thanked Alberta Parks for donating a snowcat with an operator for two days and said, “We couldn’t have done it without that thing! Thank you also to everyone for attending.”