It’s hard to remain calm when you see snowmobiles parading at full speed on the water rather than on the snow. Some runners even go so far as to perform jumps or pull someone on a water ski. Enough to create quite a spectacle for motorsport enthusiasts!

 Thrill-seekers, bring your chair this Saturday (August 14), since you will be treated to a very interesting program as part of the third edition of snowmobile races on the waterway on Chemin Saint-Élie, in Sherbrooke, held by the Circuit de motoneiges sur l’eau du Québec (CMEQ). Drag, oval events, jumps and water skiing; everything will be there!

 Several athletes from the region are expected, including Claude Vaillancourt, Charles Chainey, Michael Laroche and Steve Cournoyer. No less than 45 runners practice the discipline within the CMEQ, including five or six from the region. Sometimes, athletes from Ontario or the United States are added to competitions.

 “The people who started this are people who did a bit of ski-doo,” explains promoter André Fortier. It’s a trip. We’re a small gang. Not everyone thinks it works the same. In a straight line, on the drag, snowmobiles can reach up to 115 km / h. These machines, they just use them in the summer. Those that turn in an oval, they narrow the skis forward. It’s just an adjustment. “

 And it is not for everyone to master such a mount on the water. Some may have the best machine, but still find it difficult to control it since several factors come into play.

 “On the water, you either have it or you don’t,” explains Fortier. It’s all well and good to have the best machine, however, it’s the driver. We’re on the water, it’s not the same. It’s practice.”

 For more than thirty years, André Fortier has presented snowmobile races on the water in various places in Quebec. He introduced the CMEQ at the end of the 1980s when the first event was held near Victoriaville. Although  several followers were already practicing the sport, nothing was really supervised at the time.

 “They were a little bit everywhere in Quebec, small businesses that were organized,” says the promoter. They were just crossing a small lake. They weren’t spinning. In the Sherbrooke area, there were two or three runners who did it for fun, but there was nothing organized. At one point, I took them to Victoriaville [the races]. After that, it started. “

 Over the years, new followers have tried the discipline. Even a certain Jacques Villeneuve, champion of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt, has already done a few laps on the water for the pleasure of trying. Although some people have never seen snowmobile races on the water before, Fortier says the discipline is growing in popularity. “There are a lot of people there who know quite well that it exists. It is certain it is good. We go everywhere. “

 For fans of thrills and speed, Sherbrooke will be the destination to visit this weekend to see athletes who are not afraid to get wet and who have a sense of spectacle! It is an event not to be missed!