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Competition Stiff At SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

It’s day three of the 16th annual Clean Snowmobile Challenge…and the competition remains strong.

Day one featured SISU in full display–the only team to advance in the electric sled category was the one team that traveled all the way from Finland.

The team from Lapland University of Applied Sciences had their sled damaged during shipping, but were still able to pull it together and pass inspection, the only team out of six to do so.

The electric sled category features prototypes and is funded by the National Science Foundation.  The goal is to develop a snowmobile that can be used in Arctic and Antarctic research sites where hydrocarbon emissions could contaminate samples.

Day Two featured the Opening Ceremonies at the Keweenaw Research Center and the Endurance Run to Copper Harbor.

At the start of the competition, everyone was feeling pretty good about their chances.  International student Dominic Mathieu brought his team’s sled from Montreal.

“We are a very motivated team.  We all love snowmobiles.  And we’re pretty sure that we have what we need to compete with everyone here.”

But you won’t find anyone willing to spill the beans about their snowmobile just yet, at least not University of Wisconsin, Madison team captain Jennifer Bartaszewicz.

“All the work that goes into building a great snowmobile, the teams generally want to keep that secret so that other teams don’t try to copy what they’ve done.  Of course, at the end of competition, everyone pretty much knows at that point.”

This is the 13th year Michigan Tech has hosted the event, and I.C. President Bill Gielda feels they’ve got what it takes to win.

“I think we’re going to be pretty competitive.  And with that being said, I hope we’re in Bay One next year.”

Of course, if the Huskies want to keep the MacLean-Fogg Trophy home in Houghton—Lead Engineer Andrew Palardy says they’ll have to top last year’s champions–Kettering University.

“Well, we won it last year, we’ve made some improvements to our sled from last year and we think we’re going to win it again.”

The snowmobiles will be on display tonight at the Copper Country Mall from 6-8pm, where the students and the sponsors of the event will be free to talk to the public.

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