Alix Lake was home to more than 35 contestants during the Western Canadian Watercross Association Rounds 3 and 4 of summer competition from Fri. to Sun. July 6-8.
Robbie Langley, president of the Western Canadian Watercross Association, is from the area and felt it was a perfect location for out-of-town competitors to harness their skills.
“I think it went pretty good,” began Langley. “We had beautiful weather all weekend. At first we weren’t really sure how it was going to go because the weather was predicting thunderstorms but that just hit us on Friday night and then Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous.”
There were five classes that each individual could pick from Beginner Lite, being new competitors, up to Pro Ski Open for the experienced riders of the sport. The goal of the game is to complete 12 laps as fast as you can. Buoys are placed in specific locations around the lake with a tower that has the flags for the start and finish line. A rubber band stretches the length of the floating contraptions which contestants must be behind before the start of the race. The band will snap and then everyone will race to the first corner.
“Then they will navigate through the course for up to 12 laps at a time. First one across the finish line wins,” he said. Each lap typically runs from one minute and a half to two minutes so each race can be upwards of 16 minutes to complete.
Participants travelled from all over western Canada to compete. “We have guys from Fort McMurray, St.Albert, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Saskatoon, B.C. They are basically just all over. I mean we are a pretty diverse group,” said Langley.
Personal watercrafts come in ‘stand-up’ or ‘sit-down’ models that can have a horsepower as high as 200.
The entire campground is rented out for everyone that competed, additionally bringing money into the local economy.
“As far as renting out the campground is concerned, we provide entertainment for the locals so people can come down since it’s free to watch and all our participants support our local shops,” Langley said.