For Simmons, Watercross a Pleasant Surprise

By KBJR News 1

August 21, 2013 Updated Aug 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The first ever Northland watercross event drew more than 100 racers this past weekend to Barker's Island in Superior including Superior, Wis. resident Mike Simmons.

Simmons was as surprised as anyone when he became part of the watercross scene.

"When I joined last year, I had no idea this sport had been around since the 1970s," Simmons said.

It started in 1977 just a few hours south of Duluth in Grantsburg, Wisconsin but didn't catch on in the Northland until recently.

"I think it's grown in popularity," Simmons said. "We've got a lot of new drivers out here this year. We want to keep that going. We want to keep people coming. We want to make this thing bigger and bigger."

The Superior Watercross Shootout did just that. With more than 1,200 people in attendance, it gave racers something to rev their engines for.

"We really hope that this one comes back to the Northland. It's an awesome location and great viewing. People driving by see something like that and want to stop and check it out," said David McKinney, a racer and pit crew member for Simmons.

Fans may want to check out Simmons too. He currently leads the semi pro stock standing with just one race to go.

"I've always had a passion and a love for racing snowmobiles regardless of what type of racing it is," Simmons said. "It's just the adrenaline rush. It's addicting."

An addicting sport that sends snow machines cruising across the water.

"The tricky part is being agile on the water," he said, "being able to turn in ovals and being smooth."

All while keeping the snowmobile in working condition.

"Obviously these machines were not meant for this sport so we're making something do what it's not supposed to, there's always going to be problems," Simmons said.

Problems that Simmons says he'll be happy to help anyone fix.

"We'll give you parts right off our own sleds," he said. "It happens every weekend. Don't be afraid to come out and give it a shot."

Posted by Sarah Wheeler