The snow didn’t stop extreme sports enthusiasts from coming out to the annual Northeast Winter National Ice Drag Races in Medway.
“They just love the racing, and the spectators just love to watch it–it’s a lot of noise, a lot of excitement,” said Brian Wiley, President of East Branch Sno-Rovers, which puts on the event.
“The friends, the community, it’s fast and you don’t get in trouble for doing it,” said Leigh Hewitt, a racer from Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“It was snowing, we decided it’s a good winter event. we come every year, so the snow wasn’t going to keep us away today,” said Derek, a spectator.
Spectators and racers traveled from near and far.
“We have a team here from Montreal, we have a team here from Binghamton, New York. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, all over,” said Wiley.
Leigh Hewitt competed in Sunday’s semifinals.
“We ran three runs today. we did fair the first two and then did a little work on it and came back the third one and did all right,” said Hewitt.
Participants of all ages make up the teams that took part in this weekend’s races.
“I got a whole bunch of different age groups here–there’s one of our mechanics he’s in his 70s, a friend of my dad’s he’s in his 50s, and my dad’s in his 50s, I’m 28,” said Hewitt.
Ideally, this type of snowmobiling involves racing on straight ice-but Mother Nature complicated things a bit.
“This is all ice, but because of that little sheen of that you’ve got on the track, makes it very slippery,” said Wiley.
Ironically organizers say the snow kept a lot of people home today, but for those who did make it out, they say the camaraderie and the community is a big part of the draw.
“It’s a real tight knit community because everybody needs somebody at some piont in their journey here. We share parts, we party together at night, we hang out at the track. We all stay pretty close,” said Hewitt.
“It’s all basically a big family of spectators and racers,” said Wiley.
“it’s kind of in everybody’s blood in this area. They like to see fast sleds—and everybody just loves to come out and see this stuff,” said Derek.