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- Trail Ride Story from
Grand Rapids, Minn.
Curt Flack Memorial Grass
Drags Nov. 22 near Jefferson
by Jim Wyckoff
Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers, Region 7
JEFFERSON—The Raccoon Valley Snow Chasers (RVSC) snowmobile
club will host its sixth annual Curt Flack Memorial grass drag races on
Saturday, Nov. 22. This year’s race has been significantly expanded into an
all-day event to also include ATV and motorcycle races. A popular band will
perform under a big tent on the grounds Saturday evening following the races.
The events will take place at the Flack river farm, now called River Farm
Recreation, five miles west of Jefferson—just south of Highway 30 and just
west of county road P14. Signs will be posted on nearby roads leading to the
RVSC safety director Craig Flack said the usual snowmobile racing
format will take place this year, including local celebrity Bill Labath calling the
races. However, this year will see additional timed “horseshoe” racing for dirt-
bike motorcycles and ATVs—also called four wheelers and side-by-sides.
“River Farm Recreation is excited to again host this year’s grass drags,” said
Flack. “We plan on having a big bonfire Saturday evening, along with a very
popular rockabilly band called the Barrel House Rockets performing inside a
big tent.” Flack, long known as a local daredevil, also said he will attempt a
water-crossing, also called water-skipping, on his snowmobile.
Registration for the races is from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning,
Nov. 22, with racing to begin shortly thereafter. The races will include several
classes of snowmobiles. Trophies will be awarded for the top three finishers
in each class. The snowmobile racetrack is 500 feet in length, and the race
format will be double-elimination. All racers must be at least 18 years of age.
Specific details of the snowmobile, motorcycle and ATV races will be
available at the race.
An admission fee for the races and the band will be collected by race
officials upon entering the race grounds. Food and soft beverages will be
available at the event. Also, RVSC club merchandise will be available for
purchase at the race.
The annual fall race is in memory of long-time snowmobile enthusiast
Curt Flack of Jefferson. The Flack family were snowmobiling pioneers in
Greene County, dating back to the 1960s. For more information call RVSC
president Mike Patten at (515) 669-0473 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Regulations for Youth Riders
Take Effect this Winter
Thanks to legislation supported by the ISSA, the Iowa Department of
Natural Resources has been able to relax some of its requirements for
youths riding snowmobiles on public trails this winter.
Effective this past July when signed by Gov. Branstad, the language
parallels the regulations for the state's ATV program and, according to ISSA
President Jim Willey, makes it more family friendly.
The new law allows youth under the age of 16 to operate their own
snowmobile on state snowmobile trails and public property when under the
supervision of an adult.
“Families will be able to ride snowmobiles together on Iowa trails legally
for the first time with everyone driving their own sled,” Willey noted. "This
means a five-year-old without a safety certificate can ride on a 120 on a
public trail with a parent supervising on a full-size sled. The 120 will have to
have a valid Iowa snowmobile registration and a trail pass, however."
The law remains unchanged for youths aged 12 to 17 years who need to
have completed the IDNR’s youth safety course to operate their sled on state
trails and public property, clarified IDNR Snowmobile Program Manager
“Operators under 12 years of age do not have to have an education
certificate. This is similar to how we treat youth hunters under the age of 12,
hunting under the supervision of a responsible licensed adult,” Downing
further explained. “Choosing the size of the snowmobile for a minor operator
is the decision of the parent or guardian. There is no legal requirement.”
Here are the rules governing youth operation of a snowmobile:
- Persons under the age of 16 may operate their own snowmobile
under the direct supervision of a responsible person of at least 18
years of age experienced in snowmobile operation who possesses a
valid driver's license or an education certificate issued or recognized
by the DNR.
- Persons 12 through 17 must have a valid snowmobile education
certificate in their possession when operating.
- Persons 16 to 17 may operate unsupervised, but must have a valid
education certificate. Restrictions on operating a motor vehicle also
apply to persons in this age group.
- Persons 18 and older may operate without an education certificate if
their privilege to operate a motor vehicle has not been barred or