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Torch Lake hosts watercross tournament

The weekend marked the return of the fastest show on H2O. Lake Linden’s Fire Department hosted the 2nd annual Jeff Moyle Memorial Watercross Tournament beginning Friday night. Hundreds gathered at the campground to watch competitors from the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and Minnesota take part in a uniquely upper Midwest motorsport. Racers hopped on custom built snowmobiles to dart across Torch Lake. Since it’s August, there’s no ice to be found, and that turns the contest into one of skill. Not everyone completes their event before sinking.

Jimmy Marietta has been racing watercross since he was a kid. Marietta says he is excited to have introduced the sport to Lake Linden. As a racer and firefighter, he was thinking of ways to raise money for the fire department.

My dad used to race with Jeff back in the day. We grew up racing with him. He used to race watercross professionally as well. We figured something that we could bring back to his hometown was watercross. It worked!

Watercross racers build their sleds so they are narrower than a traditional snowmobile. Athletes will also waterproof their engines in case they do sink into the drink, outfitting them to not leak out pollutants as well. Watercross is a growing sport, with strong local roots that continue to take hold in the Keweenaw. The Jeff Moyle Memorial will help to raise funds for the Lake Linden Fire Department to build a new fire hall.

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