Utvs, both over and under 900cc, were part of the oval ice racing on Feb. 4 on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach, though not as quick off the starting line as the bikes. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

WATCH: Gull Lake near Ponoka hosts third event in oval ice racing series

Series has been handed over to Rocky Motorcycle Club, first year proving rather successful

There is a new group at the helm of ice racing in the province.

The Rocky Motorcycle Club (RMC) held its third of four races in the 2018 Alberta Oval Ice Racing series on Feb. 3 on Gull Lake close to Parkland Beach. The group took on the operation this season from the Calgary-based Second Gear Club, which ran the series for the previous 17 years.

RMC president, and competitive ice racer, Brian Roberts explained the club approached Second Gear as it had been well-known the club’s organizers had been looking to leave ice racing.

“We wanted to see some life beyond for ice racing and it seems to have worked out so far,” said Roberts.

“It’s been hectic, but reasonably smooth. It certainly helps that we have had some key spots filled by people who were part of the previous series operation along with a few new people stepping up to take on other roles.”

The weather on the weekend was a lot different than the previous two races, with lots of fresh snow and air temperatures hovering near minus 30 forcing racers and spectators to bundle up more than usual. It also presented a few issues on the track as the snow and exhaust kicked up by the motorcycles and ATVs hung in the air and lowered visibility.

Ponoka’s Travis Reed, who ended up second in the open expert class Sunday, said it might be tough to explain why he races a bike with studded tires so fast and so close to other racers on what can be a slippery, hard surface.

“These bikes have far more traction on the ice than one might imagine,” said Reed, who is in his sixth year of racing.

“It’s such as rush racing at 120 to 130 kilometres (per hour) just inches away from other bikes and the pegs dragging on the ice.”

Even with the less than ideal conditions, Roberts stated the number of competitors was around the same as normal with some classifications seeing some growth.

“It’s been pretty successful so far with some classes doing a little better than others. We have seven women hitting the track now, which is huge, and the UTV class is continuing to grow,” he said.

Roberts added they are trying to keep things simple in this first year, focusing on their dedicated group of volunteers and having the entire club helping to make it all happen.

The winners were: 450 intermediate — Jon Ens, Red Deer; 250 intermediate — Tom Jordan, Nordegg; open intermediate — Kurt Baumann, Thorsby; 450 expert — Riley Stormoen, Water Valley; open expert — Riley Stormoen; open novice — Jared Rose, Rocky Mountain House; 250 novice — Luke Russel, Calgary; veteran (39-plus) — Shane Lowry, Rocky Mountain House; two-stroke — Travis Reed, Ponoka; four-stroke — Randy Vangeytenbeek, Huxley; women’s motorcycle — Melanie Baumann, Thorsby; youth quad — Austin Roberts, Trochu; ATV 500cc and under novice — Scott Conley, Drayton Valley; ATV 500cc and under intermediate — Tom Tisdale, Rocky Mountain House; ATV 500cc and under expert — Jay Blake, Rocky Mountain House; ATV non-studded two-wd ladies — Hailee Roberts, Trochu; ATV non-studded two-wd — Jaxon Brooks, Wetaskiwin; UTV open studded — Steve Pohl, Millet; UTV over 900cc non-studded — Mark Meyer, Leduc; UTV under 900cc non-studded — Colin Hall, Nisku.

The final race in the series goes this Sunday (Feb. 11) at Sylvan Lake. That will be followed two weeks later (Feb. 25) with the nationals hosted in Lac La Biche.

 

These two bikes roar into the corner so close to the ice that the riders could put their hand on it during one race on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach Feb. 4. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

This atv class, with non-studded tires, gets prepared at the start line for their race Feb. 4 on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

Rural crime task force results released at Agri-Trade luncheon

Report cites problems with police not being able to keep up with crime and justice system issues

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Canada wants free trade deal with southeast Asian nations, Trudeau says

ASEAN nations combined have nearly 650 million people, an economy of US$2.8 trillion, and are already Canada’s sixth-biggest trading partner.

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Most Read