Annual Vintage Snowmobile Derby kicks offSubmitted: 01/12/2018
Erin Beu
Erin Beu

Annual Vintage Snowmobile Derby kicks off
EAGLE RIVER - Each year hundreds of spectators and snowmobile racers attended the annual Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River.

Even Friday's cold temperatures couldn't keep derby racer Ron Emerick II away from this year's Vintage Derby in Eagle River.

"No one really has the gull to come out here and do it," said Emerick.

Emerick goes by a "stage name" when he's racing. "First place rocking Ron."

But the nickname is a bit ironic.

"Well I always come in last. But I try," said Emerick with a laugh.

Emerick will be going up against more than 200 other racers this weekend.

"You never know what's going to happen around the next corner or whose going to show up," said Emerick.

Emerick races a 1979 vintage sled.

"[Friday] we got about 216 drivers representing about 700 entries," said Derby owner Chuck Decker.
Decker was pleased with how many people showed up despite the cold.

"Spectators looking like a real good turn out," said Decker.

The preliminary races started Friday morning with each driver racing around the track twice for time.

"[Last year's winner] went 38 or 39 seconds," said Decker.

Even though that may not seem too fast, Emerick has a different perspective when he's driving the sled.

"They are a lot bigger when you're out there. It's a lot smaller when you're standing on the sides," said Decker.

But win or lose Emerick says it's all about the experience.

"That's just what it's all about," said Emerick.

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