Teams compete to build quietest snowmobile

Teams compete to build quietest snowmobile

HOUGHTON — Ladies and Gentlemen start your noise–reduced, environmentally friendly, enhanced trail maneuvering snowmobile engines!

The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge has arrived. The weeklong competition pits university crews from across the U.S. and Canada with one team even making the trek from Finland this year.

One team came all the way from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

“We are a very motivated team,” said Dominic Mathieu, École de Technologie Superieure. “We all love snowmobiles. And we’re pretty sure that we have what we need to compete with everyone here.”

Tuesday’s events include the Endurance Run from the Houghton County Airpark up to Copper Harbor. Additional tests for noise emissions and functionality are held throughout the week.

But you won’t find anyone willing to spill the beans about their snowmobile just yet.

“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,” said Jennifer Bartaszewicz, with the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “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 they feel pretty good about their chances at winning,

“I think we’re going to be pretty competitive,” said Bill Gielda. “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—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,” said Andrew Palardy.