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2006 World Championship Water Cross
And Vintage Sled Show
July 15th & 16th, 2006
With the temperatures hovering around the 100 degree mark, it seemed somewhat surreal to watch snowmobile racing. Yet, there I was with my daughter watching both drag and oval racing. Not on snow, of course, but on the calm waters of Memory Lake in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Although I know each and every racer was set of gunning for the World Championship, I suspect that a few weren't too disappointed to have their sled sink and take a short dip to cool off from the scorching temperatures.
It is really quite fascinating to watch the recovery crews (of which there were four!) pick up the sunken sleds. The whole process takes less than five minutes to bring the sled back up. From what I understand, the sleds are taken back to the pits to have the motor drained and the sleds are usually back and running again in just a few minutes.
There were some really great sleds at this show, including a beautiful Herb Howe's 1966 Polaris Colt I-500 Winnipeg to St. Paul Championship race sled, a Ski-Doo Twin Track race sled, a mint 1971 Polaris TX Charger 300, and a 1970 Homelite Forrester. Here are some pictures of sleds at the event, starting first with that super nice 1971 Polaris TX Charger:
1971 Polaris TX Charger 300
Owner: Chris Carlson, Parkers Prairie, MN
1966 Polaris Colt
1966 Winnipeg to St. Paul Winter Carnival I-500 Winner
Owner: Herb Howe
1964 Arctic Cat Deluxe 170
Owner: Elrey Grambart, Hanover, MN
1984 Ski-Doo Twin Track
Owner: Kurt Krueger, River Falls, WI
There was a nice variety of snowmobile brands represented, including Polaris, Scorpion, Yamaha, Sno*Jet, Homelite, and Arctic Cat. What is unusual is that I don't recall a single Rupp show sled. In fact, I don't think there was one at the show at all. I should have brought one! Pictured below, left, are some Sno*Jet Thunder Jets and a pair of 1973 Polaris Starfires and below right, are some 1968-1970 Arctic Cat's brought by Jack Speckel from Watertown, MN.
Left: 1978 Arctic Cat Sno-Pro 250, Owner: Tom Ische, Glencoe, MN
Right: 1969 Skee Whee, Owner: Ron Meier, Winona, MN
Here are a few more pictures of sleds we viewed at the show, including some Sno*Jets shown by Robert Schaber of Braham, MN, including a 1975 Thunder Jet along with a trio of SST's:
1975 Sno*Jet Thunder Jet, 1973 SST, 1976 SST, and 1977 SST
Owner, Robert Schaber, Braham, MN
Left: 1977 Ski-Doo RV 340, Owner: Mick Morello, Stacy, MN
Right: 1965 Olympic, 1967 Chalet, 1970 TNT, Owner: Phil & Joyce Stener, Balsam Lake, WI
1979 John Deere Spitfire & 1972 Evinrude Norseman
Owner: Scott Martin, Foley, MN
Left: 1970 Homelite Forrester, Owner: Vern Herting, Andover, MN
Right: 1976 Yamaha SRX 340's, Owner: Keith Kenyon, Westby, WI
Tom Persha brought four unique 1972 Chaparrals to the show, demonstrating the significant differences between consumer, racing, and Sno-Pro offerings from the company.
1972 Chaparral Firebird SSX 650, Firebird SSX 650 Sno-Pro
1972 Chaparral Firebird SS 440, Skylark 292
Owner: Tom Persha, Horicon, WI
1972 Sno Jet Thunder Jet
Owner: Evan Christianson, Trego, WI
Talk about this show being the last one was somewhat premature. The Grantsburg Lions have turned over control of the show to the Grantsburg Hockey Association so Grantsburg will continue to offer the World Championship Watercross for many years to come!
A new feature of the website starting with this page is that if you want to see a full-size version of the picture, just simply click on it! (This applies to all of the pictures above except for the two pictures of Evan Chirstianson's 1972 Thunder Jet. If you have any additional pictures that I could post on this event, send me a picture with a description.