Snow dragging on the Snye

The Road Less Travelled

By TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist

Photo (SEE: SNOWDRAG): Local racer Kevin Boudreau at the Straightline Snowmobile Racing Associate Snow Drags on January 16. Boudreau won second place in two divisions. Photo: TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Weekly

Local racer Kevin Boudreau at the Straightline Snowmobile Racing Associate Snow Drags on January 16. Boudreau won second place in two divisions. Photo: TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Weekly

There was a great turnout for the Straightline Snowmobile Racing Associate (SSRA) Snow Drags held at the Syne on January 16.

It was cold. I don’t mean like Toronto and their “Extreme Cold Warning” temperatures. (Insert sarcasm here… I’m from there, so I can say that.) I mean mind-numbing cold at minus 37 below with the wind chill.

The races were the first of the season. The event was well set-up and executed by local resident Neil Duffett. He has been the driving force behind bringing the SSRA races to our city and should be thanked for his continuing efforts.

Even though the intensely low temperatures played a bit havoc with the equipment, the races went ahead smoothly and I was impressed by the fortitude of the organizers who ran the event.

They stayed out in the bitter cold without any breaks, while I was able to jump in my vehicle to thaw my frozen fingertips whenever I started to think I may lose them to frostbite. (Seriously, I actually thought that. You know when the heat hits them and it’s like someone is jamming fifty needles in your flesh? I went through that at least ten times.)

With the races held at the Snye, the improvement of the parking area made it easy for many people to attend. (A big thumbs up to the city on this one.)

Guests were in great spirits. I saw entire families, including their dogs, out enjoying the day.

My personal highlight was when they interrupted the races to allow a young girl to race against two men… of course, she won!

There was a good mix of local McMurrayites and out-of-towners. Along with the high-paced snow drags, there were a couple breakdowns and blown engines. To me, that just makes it that much more exciting.

There was a good mix of local McMurrayites and out-of-towners. Along with the high-paced snow drags, there were a couple breakdowns and blown engines. To me, that just makes it that much more exciting.

If you’ve ever thought you’d like to try your hand at this sport, I highly recommend it. The organizers take their time to explain it well. And, when you take part in the action, it is a memory you will not soon forget.

After the last race of the day, we all gathered at a local watering hole – well-known to most locals as The Newfoundland Club or “Newfie’s Pub”. The servers there, while swamped by us, were cheerful and accommodating.

After a well-deserved beer and a plate of crispy wings, we all cleared out to our homes and warm beds to dream of the smell of two and four stroke engines and the braaaap of the sleds, as they rocketed off the start line.

For more information on the SSRA and upcoming races, visit www.racessra.com.

– Connect Weekly –