Northwoods Spotlight - Eagle River Derby recap Jan 22Submitted: 01/22/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

EAGLE RIVER - Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk won the world championship in 2012. He knows Eagle River is the place to be.

"You can't put it into words," Van Strydonk said. "It's its own special feeling."

Amateur sno cross racer Lance Rutledge of Rhinelander adds, "The adrenaline rush you get, especially in that last lap, it all comes into play."

Speed, adversity and triumph, Derby Weekend had it all - including talented local drivers.

"We do it for the fans," Van Strydonk adds. "We're not out here to make money. We're not out here to prove anything to the guys we race against. We're out here for the fans, we like to put on a show and have fun."

It wasn't just the guys tearing it up. 17 year old Sabrina Blanchet from Quebec set out to become the first female to qualify for the final race, but she had a tough weekend.

"It's disappointing but I'm not mad or upset," Blanchet explained. "The team does a lot of work to give me the best machine they can. We'll come back and try to do it all over again."

Another tradition that dates back to the early years is the Derby Queen. Northland Pines hockey star Jessica Roach won that honor for 2014.

"It's definitely awesome being part of the derby," Roach said. "We're a big hockey town but the Derby is what people look forward to in the winter."

The sleds that race out here aren't like anything you'd see on a trail. They're hand built from the ground up and hits speeds up to 100 miles per hour on the track.

In the end, it was Malcolm Chartier winning the granddaddy of them all... and becoming a back to back champ.

"We did our homework, Chartier explained. "We did it last year and tried to replicate what we did last year and did it again."

"To be able to live in a little town like Eagle River and have a business because there's not that much other tourism it's just very gratifying," Eagle River Derby Track Marketing Manager Richard Decker adds. "It's a lot of hard work but believe me, everything is worth it. We love it."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


WAUSAU - Police think a high school student may have started a fire in Wausau last week.

Last Tuesday, the Wausau Police Department responded to a fire that damaged a significant amount of two buildings in downtown Wausau last week. On Thursday, police got information that a 16-year-old boy from Wausau East talked about being responsible for starting the fire.

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Students at one Northwoods school start the school day later than they did last year.

Lac du Flambeau School starts at 8:25 this year instead of 7:45.

The school had a few different reasons to start later.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Artists will open their studios to visitors this weekend for the Northwoods Art Tours.

Lora Hagen, who owns Scheider et Fille Pottery Shop in Minocqua, is one of those artists.

She took over the business after her father passed away.

+ Read More

LINCOLN COUNTY - A cough can sometimes be a symptom of the common cold, but nurses say some types of coughs can be more dangerous. That's why local health experts want people to monitor their coughs.

Nurses say most coughs this time of the year are triggered by colds and allergies, but there are some symptoms that a doctor should check.

+ Read More

OGEMA - The fall colors brighten up our area this time of year.

High Point Village Resort sits right on Bass Lake in Ogema It overlooks Timm's Hill. The hill is Wisconsin's highest geographical point, with an elevation of 1951.5 feet.

"This time of year is the busiest," said High Point Village Resort owner Kathy Blomberg. "People are coming for the colors."

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to work with Republican senators to find a solution to funding for road projects in Wisconsin that has led to a delay in some work.

Walker spoke to Republican state senators in the Capitol on Tuesday.

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People in Lac du Flambeau will start moving into new affordable housing.

The tribe built 12 new low-income homes.

It held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for the houses.

The new buildings will replace old apartments downtown.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here