Jet skis on the lake in summer are nothing out of the ordinary, but if you take a close look, these aren't jet skis. They're snowmobiles racing as part of the second annual River Bend Shootout where more than 60 professional drivers from all over the Midwest have come to Rock Valley to compete.
"The event started as an idea for a fundraiser to raise money towards our snowmobile club towards a new groomer, so we put the event on," says Kelly Roder, Sioux County Snowmobile Club president. "Last year was the first year and this year is our second annual."
Last year, the event drew in just more than 750 people and raised $22,000 for the snowmobile club. Many of the racers come out for the joy of the competition and others come simply for the camaraderie.
"I think our sport is a little bit different than a lot of the other type of snowmobile races; we kind of have a camaraderie," says Krista Maki-Zurm, snowmobile racer. "We're all here to win and they're battling each other but if people need things from each other, everybody's pretty good at helping each other out."
Other racers shared the same view of the event.
"We're just one big family," says Salesse Tongen, snowmobile racer. "Everyone loves each other. I'm just so thankful to have this venue, it's been really great. Everyone here is so nice."
The Rivers Bend Shootout included a mix of drag style racing and oval style racing, marking this the fourth race of the season for the International Watercross Association.
The event will continue through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the River Bend Campground in Rock Valley.
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