Large crowd expected at snowmobile grass drags, watercross races in FremontBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent October 05. 2017 11:51PM
FREMONT — Temperatures in the 70s won’t stop snowmobile enthusiasts from kicking off the season early this weekend as an estimated 45,000 people are expected to attend the annual New Hampshire Snowmobile Grass Drags and Watercross competition.
The “Race into Winter” event, hosted by the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association runs today through Sunday and will feature nearly 600 competitors from around the country and Canada racing on a grass drag strip in a field and around a large pond at Brookvale Pines Farm on Martin Road.
It’s the largest fundraiser for the snowmobile association and also benefits 27 participating snowmobile clubs.
“There’s lots of racing and lots of fun,” said Roger Wright of Claremont, a member of the association and the site coordinator.
The big event is considered the kickoff to the snowmobiling season in New Hampshire.
In addition to the races, more than 100 vendors will also be on hand offering deals on snowmobiles, equipment and clothing as riders gear up for what they hope will be some snowy months ahead.
Kevin Snow (yes, his last name is Snow) is a sales representative at HK Powersports of Hooksett and Laconia who is among some 20 employees planning to work the event this weekend. The event is a time for HK Powersports to make some big sales.
“It really helps get people in the mood for winter fun. It gives us an opportunity to get out here and show off some left over sleds, used sleds, and some of the new sleds,” he said.
HK Powersports is a Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha dealer and considers the grass drags its biggest sales event.
Raveling Sports, a Minnesota company that sells FXR brand clothing and gear, had success when it attended last year for the first time so owner Shane Raveling said he decided to come out again this year.
Raveling said he’s attended other similar events, but this is the first one where he’s seen the watercross competition.
“That’s pretty unique to here, I think. We actually look forward to this event because of the atmosphere, the people, and the food,” he said.
While snowmobiles are the star of the show, lawnmower races organized by the New England Lawnmower Association were introduced last year and will return this year to a larger track.
“The lawnmower racing was a big hit last year so we’ve expanded that track. It should produce speeds of 45 to 50 mph,” Wright said.
Other activities planned for the weekend include a freestyle show with riders flipping through the air, a large swap meet, and helicopter rides.
A tent featuring antique and vintage snowmobiles will also be on display. Paul Boodakian of Burlington, Mass., included his 1978 Yamaha SRX for the first time this year. He has two Arctic Cats, but he still enjoys riding his old sled.
“It’s my pride and joy, and it’s very, very fast,” he said.