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Speed Demons on the Wabigoon: Snow Drags draw sled fanatics

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Jordan Mckay’s eye-catching 800cc Polaris snowmobile streaks through a heat during the Dryden Snow Drags Association event, Saturday Jan. 20 on Wabigoon Lake near the Dryden Flying Club. Great weather and fast action drew big crowds for the event. Photo by Chris Marchand


By Chris Marchand

A purple haze rose from the ice near the mouth of the Wabigoon River, while the shoreline reverberated with the angry buzzing of snowmobiles old and new, fast and less fast, Jan. 20.

The Dryden Flying Club proved an excellent venue for the first of several planned events for the Dryden Snow Drags Association in 2018. 

Spectators lined the length of the event’s four-lane 660 foot (200m) track.

Over 50 riders from Dryden, the region and into Manitoba competed in 110 races in nearly 20 sled classes. Crowds of around 300 spectators took advantage of warm weather to take in the fast-paced action.

“Very pleased with the turnout,” said Dryden Snow Drags Association’s Laura Zajarny. “Lots of folks. It was a decent day. We plan to do this again in February and again in March — and hopefully for the one in March we’ll do a windup with a good ol’ fashioned snowmachine dance at the end. Hopefully this will continue year after year.”

The drag races are a nostalgic attempt to revive similar events of yesteryear that were a popular regional attraction. The revival of snowmobile racing isn’t confined to Dryden, Zajarny says she held off announcing specific February and March dates to avoid conflicting with similar events that are soon to be announced for Atikokan and Fort Frances.

Many community sponsors assisted in bringing the event to life and Zajarny says funds raised from the gate were spilt between competitors and the event’s insurance requirements. A snowmobile Club in Ignace helped the race out by lending the start signals.

Dryden Snow Drags, Jan. 20

1st and 2nd place 


500 – Remo Knecht and Mark Savinac

600 – Peter Halowaty and Steve Knopp 

700 – Bob Bunny and Peter Halowaty

800 – Cory Johnson and Peter Halowaty

900 – Cory Johnson and Peter Halowaty

1000 – Cory Johnson and Bob Polkinghorne


500 – Kris Wood and Pete Peter Winik

600 – Peter Halowaty and Steve Knopp 

700 – Peter Halowaty and Steve Knopp 

800 – Jordan Mckay and Rene Nadeau

900 – Jason Knopp and Cory Johnson 


600 – Steve Knopp and Peter Halowaty

700 – Kris Wood and Halowaty

800 – Jason Knopp and Kris Wood 

900 – Kris Wood and Jason Knopp 

1000 – Jason Knopp and Kris Wood 


Jason Knopp and Phil Philippe Laporte


Paul Scheers and John Madsen


Kris Wood and Remo Knecht


Kris Wood

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