WaterX Action at FlatRock Inn!
Seeing WaterX racing in person is an experience like no other. One that keeps the intensity of the sport alive and well during the months when we are not blessed with snow.
Flat Rock Inn in Lowville, NY has a great parcel of land to accommodate the craziness of WaterX racing which includes, fans, vendors, and racing families. Pulling into Flat Rock for the NYS Championship WaterX Races and the 25th Anniversary of the sport at their venue was one feeling that gave me the excitement chills. I quickly found a spot to park and set up camp, and found my friends to watch the beginning races on Saturday afternoon. It was a gorgeous summer day and the sun was just enough to make the day comfortable and relaxing. I plopped down on the tailgate of a truck, grabbed a cold beer, and took in the awesomeness of the sport.
The start of the races consisted of the Junior Class and that is amazing in itself with the younger generation looking to take part in the fun instead of sitting at home playing video games. What came next was almost too much fun to sit and watch... There are several classes.
Trail/Amateur 600 Drags
Trail/Amateur 800 Drags
Semi Pro 600 Drags
Semi Pro 700 Drags
Semi Pro 800 Drags
Mod 600 Drags
Mod 800 Drags
Semi Pro 600 Ovals
Semi Pro 700 Ovals
Semi Pro 800 Ovals
Mod 600 Ovals
Mod 800 Ovals
Double's Race (Oval)
This is why it takes an entire weekend to complete. There are many classes for the races, as well as many different sleds for this specific sport. I was able to view several sleds up close and the mechanics of the sled differs than that of a sled you'd take out on the snow or even for grass drags. Considering I've recently elaborated on that in a previous blog, I'll leave that part out. If you're interested take a gander at that post and get educated on the differences. It's definitely neat to see the differences rather than just reading about them though.
Of course, the racing wouldn't be complete without a few going under in the murky, choppy water. The first one I witnessed go down I felt bad for. It has to be a tough feeling to not be able to finish a race, no matter what sport it is. But that's not the only reason I felt bad. I was told the waters held some uninviting guests in some areas that were not so friendly. Growing up I knew what these creatures were because I lived in the country next to a big pond where they would be lurking some seasons. Leeches. Ugly, blackish-brown, blood sucking, slimy worm-like inhabitants of small ponds and waterbeds. They don't hurt much but they are pretty annoying when you have a ton suckling on your skin to get some blood.
Between races we were able to go see some of the sleds, meet the teams, and even check out the vendors. Of course our friends at Sledfreak were there enjoying the action as well. Deb got to get involved in the action itself and partnered up with a rider in the 2 Up Race and came into 2nd place! Congrats!
In the midst of taking in all the action... I began to get the urge to try this out. As most people know, I am a daredevil and will try most things at least once. I wanted to drive one out on the sparkling, glass-like water but watching the experienced racers drop in the leech infested pond I decided against it, haha. I was quickly told that I could possibly be involved in the 2 Up Race at the end if I found a partner to drive. I got entirely excited only to be let down, but only because all the drivers were spoken for and were already signed up. So I asked a friend from Team Ski-Whiz if they wouldn't mind taking a gal out for a spin after the races. Once the races ended for the day, I quickly hopped on the sled and got the run down on where to put my hands, feet, legs, and how to position myself in front of the driver to make it easier for him to maneuver the sled. Stay low and keep your limbs tucked and close to your body... Got it! And 3...2...1...GO! We were off and braaaping on a body of water!! It was like walking on water, but only with a snowmobile. It was exhilarating... exciting...suspenseful (only because I didn't want to end up under water, but knew it could happen!) Going around the track and I was all smiles! It was like a permagrin on my face... that could not be removed unless I went under and was attacked by a large-size but small army of blood thirsty vampire worms. We flew up onto the dirt and I was elated to have made it through my first WaterX experience without any issues or accidents! A big thanks to Team Ski-Whiz, Warren McKeel, and my excellent driver... James McFee. James was also the big winner of the Semi Pro 600 Ovals... so I knew I had a great driver from the get go... Thanks for not taking us under! :)
The weekend did not end there as we all went and celebrated later that evening at the Flat Rock Inn establishment and danced, laughed, and enjoyed the night 'til our heads hit our pillows in the wee hours of the morning in our comfy little tents, or campers.
The staff at the venue certainly had their hands full that weekend. But I do believe it was a success... the weather couldn't have been better, and the races went over pretty well. I had a blast and will most certainly be going back! Thanks to the Flat Rock Inn for the hospitality and the amazing weekend. Thanks to my friends Scott and Kristie from All-In Snow Mob for sharing in the fun Saturday. Jason Cooper for being my right hand man and accomplice. Who also makes a mean breakfast on the grill! Of course Piper, the adorable four legged pal who enjoyed chasing rocks into the water and taking rides on the golf cart with Flat Rock's security and grounds guy. And of course to all who came out and enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. See you all next year!
… aaand that's a braaaap!
Photo taken of James McFee & me on my first ever WaterX ride! Thanks again!