March 13, 2011

Snowmobiling: Going for a repeat of success on lake

By CATHY GENTHNER

For the second year in a row, Greenville will host the United States Cross Country Snowmobile Racing Association (USCC) races on Moosehead Lake next weekend.

click image to enlarge

Greenville will host the Maine 100 Cross Country Snowmobile Race on March 19 on Moosehead Lake.

Photo courtesy Northwoods Expressions

PLACE TO RIDE

LILY BAY MOUNTAIN LOOP

LOCATION: Greenville

LOCAL CLUB: Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club

CONTACT: www.mooseheadriders.org or Tom McCormick 695-3580

WHAT'S OFFERED: A 10-mile loop trail heading up over Lily Bay Mountain, with spectacular views of Moosehead Lake, as well as Sugarloaf Mountain, Jackman and parts of Canada. On the way to Number Four Mountain, there are views of Mount Katahdin. The loop begins at the B-52 crash site area on E,J.'s trail (a local trail), connecting to ITS-85.

FOR MORE

information about snowmobiling in Maine, go online to

www.mesnow.com

.

The race was run on the lake last year because of a lack of snow on the trails. However, what was first thought to be a substitute location to save the race turned out to be ideal, because spectators were treated to unobstructed views of the action. Because of last year's success, the race will play out on the lake again.

"We will be using snow to build a cross-country course on the lake, constructing snow berms and moguls to make the course challenging and more interesting. Typically, the race is on the land and racers go through ditches and bumps," said Tom McCormick, president of the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club, which is sponsoring the event. "It will be more interesting for the racers as well as the fans."

There will be 15 classes of racers, including kids (120cc), women, amateurs, senior citizens, juniors, semi-pro and professional racers, with racing beginning at 9 a.m. and going all day Saturday. Tickets are $5 for spectators, with children 10 and under admitted free.

The professional racers will be doing eight to 10 laps. Racers need to register before the race, and can do so online at www.usccracing.com.

Last year, more than 50 racers competed and 500 spectators watched from the shores.

"It was a crazy situation last year because conditions were good on the Thursday before the race and then at the last minute we had to switch it to the lake because of temperatures in the 50s," said McCormick.

After a successful first race in Greenville last year, the USCC has set up a full Eastern Race Circuit this year that includes Madawaska.

There will be a radar run from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday called the "King of the Lake," consisting of single-lane drag racing.

On Friday night, the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club will host a lobster and steak dinner, and the cost is $25 per person. Reservations can be made online at www.maine100.com.

The junction wharf area will feature a number of vendor booths, exhibits and demonstrations and have a carnival-like atmosphere. The National Guard will have a children's tent set up with a number of activities.

"The whole idea for having it this time of year is to get people to come to Greenville, because the town is usually dead near the end of March." said McCornick. "We are hoping to grow the event with the radar races on Sunday to make it a big snowmobile weekend."

March can offer some of the best riding of the season, with longer and warmer days. Racers and spectators come from all over the Northeast for this event.

"We are just praying for good weather on the day of the race -- we don't need a white-out and we don't need rain," said McCormick.

For more information about the race, registration and rules visit www.usccracing.com or www.maine100.com.

Cathy Genthner is a registered Maine Guide licensed to guide snowmobile trips. She owns River Bluff Camps in Medford, located off ITS-83. She can be reached at:

riverbluffcamps@maine.rr.com

 

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