CHAMPLAIN - The event snowmobilers in the Northern Tier look forward to every year continues Saturday, Feb. 6 - with one major change in store.
Every year, "for quite sometime," members of the Northern Tier Sno-Runners, based in West Chazy, have held the annual Ice Drags at Kings Bay on Lake Champlain, according to special event organizer Andy Bordeau.
"Skidooers look forward to it every year," he said.
The event brings in an average of 60 racers a year from throughout the North Country and across the lake. It pairs up two snowmobile racers who try to get the fastest time down a 660 foot straightaway.
Although a trophy is at stake, and many race their friends for bragging rights, Bordeau says "it's all just in good fun."
The races usually have a Kitty Kat Class as well, which brings in youngsters to compete against one another. This year however, it has been canceled.
According to a press release from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, "no individuals under the age of 10 should participate in [a snowmobile] event."
After two attempts to work something out with Parks and Recreation, Bordeau said the Sno-Runners were "unsuccessful."
"The law has been [in] effect since 2003, but has been overlooked in recent years," he explained. "We are truly sorry as a club not to allow the Kitty Kat Class, but it is a law where if they are allowed to race and the club is caught doing so, tickets can be issued by law enforcement to parents, guardians and the event organizer."
Despite not having the races for the youngsters, there is still plenty for them to do at the ice drag, as it makes for a great spectator sport, said Bordeau. The ice drag often brings in several hundred people to watch the races, he added.