Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Experiencing the Bonnechere Cup Race

There are some places that, when visited for the first time you know you’ll revisit again and again. This is one of those places. I first visited Eganville and the surrounding area back in 1983 when I was a young guy wanting to take in and experience the Bonnechere Cup Snowmobile races. It was love at first sight for a vintage snowmobile lover like me, and I knew then that the Ontario’s Highlands had something spectacular going for them.
And so the story goes… it’s been 20 years since I first came, and this past weekend I went back again. Sure I’d been back a few times to take in the races, I’ve also come in the summer for a family vacation but I can never get enough of vintage racing so I packed up the truck and headed for yet another visit.

As always, I was pleasantly surprised. I’d forgotten how legendary the Bonnechere Cup track really is. The track is full of history, as every major snowmobile racer has taken on and challenged its frozen oval facility. This year was another great trip full of winter weather and a great group of volunteers putting on a top notch event. The track saw several racers over the three day span and this year inducted its 39th winner into the growing history of the Bonnechere Cup. The event is fun for all ages; as there is even a kiddie’s race for those trusting parents. For families, the weekend is reasonable priced with an adult weekend pass setting you back $30 while children under 11 are $5 daily. There’s even a delicious hot breakfast for those needing to warm up.

The racing this year, like every year, was great and had several classes for racers of all ages and all skill levels. I myself raced here three years ago and it was a dream come true. Walking through the pits, one can see racers from Quebec and New York State as well as the American mid-west. People truly come from all over to experience the race held in the beautiful Ontario’s Highlands.
Want to Ride, You’re in Luck
One of the unique things about this racing event is the options for transportation to get there. Seeing as many of the fans are snowmobilers, they leave their trucks at home and ride their sleds right to the track. The OFSC trail system comes right up to the gate and through the property, making it any easy choice for travel. Even the clubhouse of the local Eganville SnoDrifters is on the property, and serves up that fantastic hot breakfast I mentioned earlier. It’s a real happening spot for all snowmobilers to converse and trade stories.  

Seeing as the races finish up in good time during the weekend, it provides a great opportunity for you to take in a ride yourself. When the racing was done on Saturday, I took a ride in the groomer to check out trail conditions and the following morning I was taken out for a ride on sleds with local club members. The trails have a great mix of fields, bush and rolling hills: making it a perfect trip for a little action, adventure and good company all rolled up into one.
The racing was great, the people were fantastic, the accommodations were superb, and yes, I will back here in 2014 for the 40th running of the Bonnechere Cup. We hope to see you there now that you’ve come to know sledding in the Ontario’s Highlands

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