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Ross Tatty, left, and Silu Autut help driver Nanaouq Tanuyak, far left, pull a machine out of the water July 1 after it sank during the snowmobile water cross event, which was run by the hamlet of Rankin Inlet as part of its Canada Day celebrations on July 1. The men were able to get the machine going in time for another run. - Miranda Scotland/NNSL photo

'You don't see that every day'
Rankin Inlet holds water cross event with snowmobiles for first time in about eight years

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Five Rankin Inlet residents braved choppy waters and strong winds on the July 1 weekend while participating in a snowmobile water cross event.

The drivers were challenged to guide their machines around two pylons and back to land in the fastest time. They each had three chances, but the task was easier said then done.

All but one of the participants sank to the bottom of the shallow body of water, located off Nunavut Street, not far from the main part of town.

The competition was part of the hamlet's Canada Day celebrations, which also included a kid's carnival, a cardboard boat race and a soccer tournament. According to recreation co-ordinator David Clark, this is the first time in about eight years a water cross event such as this has been run in Rankin.

Clark said he wanted to add something new to the mix while still holding onto resident's favourite July 1 events.

"The guys enjoy it, people enjoy watching it, so I thought I would bring it back and hopefully we can have more participants next year and keep growing it," said Clark. "It's entertaining to watch snowmobiles go across water. You don't see that every day."

A large crowd gathered on shore to take in the event, although numbers started to taper off as the wind got stronger later in the day. Despite the weather, Clark said he was impressed with the turnout.

"It's too bad that it was really windy. It made it tough on everybody," added Clark.

Nonetheless, Ross Tatty was able to pull through and win the top spot during the race. He made the loop in 48 seconds and took home $500, according to Clark. Arsene Karlik won the second place prize of $300 and the third place prize of $100 for finishing the race in one minute, three seconds and one minute, ten seconds.

After not participating in water cross events with snowmobiles in about six or seven years, Tatty said it was great to get back at it.

"It was good experience, good exercise," Tatty said, adding he didn't have any special trick to win the competition.

The key was just to go fast enough to stay on top of the water, he said. However on one of his tries, Tatty's machine ran out of steam and sunk to the bottom of the body of water. ATVs were on hand to pull him and his machine to shore and after clearing the water from the engine, the snowmobile was ready for another run.

While soaking wet and shivering, Tatty said he enjoyed the event and plans to compete next year if the hamlet puts it on again.

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