The Eagle River Derby was born Sunday, February 9, 1964, billed by local newspapers as the “World’s first snowmobile derby.” In 2003, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the community ran a re-enactment at the original site on Dollar Lake.
The first event was an outstanding success with more than 5000 people, along with 96 snowmobiles from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. The program included: ski joring or sking behing a snowmobile, hill climbing, timed speed runs, and cross-country obstacle races. While the events are different today, the enthusiasm is still the same! Winning an “Eagle” is still the goal to strive for in an oval snowmobile race driver’s career.
Photo highlights of the 40th running of the Eagle River World Championship oval racing weekend follow.
Eagle River Oval Snowmobile Racing Pictures
#17, Chris Hortness, Bienfait, SK. 1st Pro-Formula 600 oval.
Semi Pro Sprint – USSA/Eastern Pro Tour. Driver, Jeff Mitchell, #330, takes 2nd place.
Todd Chartier, #39, takes the checkered flag in the Sport 500 class.
Ever wondered how the snocross guys would do on an oval track? Better than you’d expect! The Ice Cross Snow class [3 laps on ice, then 3 on snocross, then repeat] was won by Dennis Eckstrom on his Polaris, with Justin Tate’s Polaris in second. It was a feature race of the Friday Night Thunder event.
Dustin Wahl, #74, takes 2nd place in the Semi-Pro Open
Notice the riding style of these drivers. The lead Ski-Doo driver has his leg stuck straight past the seat–try that some time! This is the Sport 600 Class.
Sport 600 at the starting line.
Photos copyright Linda Aksomitis taken at the 40th Eagle River World Championship in 2003 in Eagle River, Wisconsin.