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ELEPHANT LAKE- Blustery winds and falling snow aren’t about to keep a true Minnesota snowmobiler off his or her sled, and that goes double when it comes to Melgeorge’s Antique and Classic …
ELEPHANT LAKE- Blustery winds and falling snow aren’t about to keep a true Minnesota snowmobiler off his or her sled, and that goes double when it comes to Melgeorge’s Antique and Classic Snowmobile Race. The annual event at Elephant Lake was held this year on Saturday, March 11.
As in years past, spectators’ cars and trucks lined the road outside of Melgeorge’s Resort, and it was standing room only outside of the lodge as people milled about chatting and snacking on food from the outdoor grill.
A full contingent of vintage sleds and racers staked out their spots along the western shoreline, waiting for their turn at tackling the winding circuit course. Some of the sleds, and many of the drivers, qualified as sexagenarians, with machines from the 1960s and 1970s well represented at the race.
The snow came down hard enough at times to somewhat obscure the view of racers as they negotiated the far turns of the circuit, but the snowy track didn’t appear to impair their ability to steer through the corners and accelerate down the straights. As with humans, old age can wreak havoc with machines, too, as some racers found out at the start line and others discovered somewhere out on the course. But most riders completed the circuit without mishap.
Some wondered if recent knee surgery would keep race organizer Steve Koch away from his traditional spot at the start/finish line, but like a trooper he was there, appearing no worse for the wear with clipboard in hand keeping track of the contestants.
The chilly wind did seem to drive more friendly conversations inside the lodge, where seating in the restaurant was at a premium all day long, although clusters of people huddled together around their snowmobiles as well. Few chose to sit at the frosty picnic tables, however, apparently preferring to stand.
A number of folks showed up wearing costumes, a recent development for the event, including a pair of giant walking, talking beer bottles who along with their snowmobile and beer sled entry won the day’s fan favorite award. Seriously intense racers might have a hard time fitting in to this fun, light-hearted event where every racer is an old or new friend, although the competition is highly spirited.
Awards were given in antique, classic, and vintage divisions, with ten “other” crowd-pleasing awards such as “beast of show” and “just plain cool.” And, as always, a good time was had by all.
Rear Engine 8 HP and under – 1. Todd Carlson, Duluth, 1963 Polaris Snotraveler; 2. Lee Carlson, Culver, 1963 Abe Mathews Trailmaker.
2 Cycle 9 HP and under – 1. Wayne Schlauderoff, Detroit Lakes, 1966 Foxtrac RT10; 2. Alex Carlson, Fridley, 1966 Polaris Colt.
2 Cycle 10 HP and over – 1. Todd Carlson, Duluth, 1969 Scorpion Mark II; 2. Curtis Grandquist, Duluth, 1965 Ski Doo.
4 Cycle 9 HP and under – 1. Sawyer Smith, Mora, 1965 Arctic Cat D 100; Terry Smith, Mora, 1964 Polaris Snotraveler.
250-300CC stock air-cooled – 1. Jodi Ellsworth, Harris, 1978 Polaris TX; 2. Jeff Harmon, Orr, 1976 Arctic Cat Jag.
250-300CC modified air-cooled – 1. Casey Fenske, Ely, 1971 Arctic Cat Lynx 292; 2. Jeff Harmon, Orr, 1977 Arctic Cat Lynx.
250-300CC stock liquid-cooled – 1. Arin Marks, 1975 John Deere 300.
340-400CC stock liquid-cooled – 1. Kael Richards, Ely, 78 Jag.
340-400CC modified liquid-cooled – 1. Kael Richards, Ely, 78 Jag.
340-400CC modified air-cooled – 1. Ellsworth, Polaris TX; 2. Casey Fenske, Ely, 1978 Arctic Cat Jag.
440-500CC stock air-cooled – 1. Tucker Jacobson, Pelican Rapids, 1974 Arctic Cat Painter 440; Cody Long, Orr, 1976 Arctic Cat El Tigre.
440-500CC modified air-cooled – 1. Jesse Brunner, Cook, 1977 Arctic Cat El Tigre 5000; 2. Eric Jansson, 1976 Jag.
500CC and up stock air-cooled – 1. Tucker Jacobson, Pelican Rapids, 1971 Ski Doo TNT; 2. Connor Bamberk, Duluth, Arctic Cat Panther.
500CC and up modified air-cooled – 1. Cody Long, Orr, 1977 Arctic Cat El Tigre; Otto Stavnes, Hibbing, 1974 Yamaha GPX.
250-300CC stock – 1. Kevin Parotti, Hudson, Wis., 1980 Arctic Cat Jag.
340-400CC stock – 1. Jim Lavavor, Hibbing, 1979 Yamaha Enticer; Kael Richards, Ely, 79 Jag.
340-40CC modified – 1. Kael Richards, Ely, 79 Jag; 2. Riner Gale, Ash River, 1979 Arctic Cat Jag 340.
440-500CC stock – 1. Kael Richards, Ely, 79 Jag; 2. Brian Najdek, Oak Grove, 197+9 Ski Doo Blizzard.
440-500CC modified – 1. Nels Gabrielson, Orr, 1980 Polaris Indy; Travis Gillette, Coon Rapids, 1980 Polaris Centurion.
550CC and over – 1. Karl Richards, Ely, 1979 Arctic Cat Jag.
Mini-Kitty Cat – 1. Owen Bergman, Orr, 1978 Arctic Cat; Lucy Admunson, 1971 Arctic Cat.
Elmer Smith Award (best unrestored) – Hollace Fenske, Ely, 1962 Arctic Cat 500.
Best Dressed – Marnie Kleven.
Beast of Show – Lee Carlson, Culver, 1963 Abe Mathews Trailmaker.
Beauty of Show – Charlie Van Canneyt, 1972 Arctic EXT.
Cutter – Carye Moore, Onalaska, Wis. 1971 Ski Doo Elan and Slay
Rat sled – Case Zachariason, Detroit Lakes, 1970 Snow Pony Min Mater
Fan Favorite – George, Nick, Jack, and Dylan Novak, Beer Buggy.
Just Plain Cool – Scott Gilette, Stacy, 1963 Hus Ski.
Favorite Classic – Darren Rutledge, New London, Polaris TX 500 LTD.
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