by Jody Spear –
CLEAR LAKE – The Third Annual “The Jack” Helgren Memorial 2012 Iowa LeMans Championship snowmobile races took place Saturday at Clear Lake.
Friday night was the start of the weekend’s scheduled events with Pre-registration at the VFW and a “Cruise Around the Lake” tour.
Saturday morning brought beautiful sunshine down upon Clear Lake, but that bone-chilling north winds kept was a reminder of February in Iowa.
The snowmobile races included LeMans “style” racing and radar runs. The races consisted of vintage to brand new sleds. There were many classes including a class where the age of the rider and the age of the sled had to add up to be 80 and a “Ladies Only” class.
On the ice of Clear Lake, besides people and snowmobiles, there were food tents and vendors, keep warm tents, ATV’s, trucks, trailers, a giant igloo where registration, raffle and announcements took place, a vintage snowmobile show and bales of hay. It was quite the site to see from the beach, where normally you’d be standing in a bathing suit watching swimmers, boaters and skiers.
Brad Johnson, of Mason City and the President of the North Iowa Snow Seekers was keeping up with the clubs first code of ethics, “I will be a good sportsman. I recognize that people judge all snowmobilers by my action. I will use my influence with other snowmobilers to promote sportsmanlike conduct” by giving a thumbs up and asking with a big smile, “Are you having fun?”
Junior Jacobson, of Decorah, had just finished facing and standing on the south side of a building to escape that north wind. Asking what he thought about the “The Jack” he said, “It’s fun, slippery and fast.” (See video.)
Saturday night events included the Award Banquet and the band “ReMix” at the Clear Lake VFW.
Sunday events will include vintage ice drags. It will be one in a series of five events.
“The Jack” is a memorial to Jack Helgren, an area businessman, avid snowmobiler, former dealer/racer and promoter of the sport and the area. This is the third year of the annual event and, according to www.TheJackRace.com website, the first two years were enjoyed by all that attended.