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Norwood Regatta set for Aug. 24, 25

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NORWOOD — While this year will be the 23rd annual Norwood Regatta, it will mark the fourth time the event has hosted snowmobiles racing on the water.

“That’s correct,” said Norwood Mayor James H. McFadden, when asked about the sleds driving on the waters of Norwood Lake. “We have to explain it to people all the time. They don’t believe us when we say that.”

In order to stay above the water, Mr. McFadden said the sleds need to maintain a speed of 70 miles per hour. Should their odometer dip below 70, the needle wouldn’t be the only thing going down.

“We always have some sink,” he said, explaining the races start on the beach.

“They depart from the beach three or four-wide and immediately reach high speeds,” he said. “It’s extremely dangerous, but luckily we haven’t had a serious accident.”

Mr. McFadden said the event is guaranteed to include racing in two classes, a semi-pro and a pro with each heat including four sleds.

“Four drivers race at a time with points awarded based on their finish,” he said. The top six racers then compete in the finals, he said, with the top two semi-pro racers earning the right to compete as pros next year.

“They come from all over. It’s a very competitive sport,” Mr. McFadden said, adding though that he doesn’t believe any of the racers are local.

“It’s a circuit,” he said. “They race all over.”

Locals who would like to get in the act can bring their own sleds and take lessons on how to race on the water.

“We actually had one finish the course three years ago,” he said.

Races will start at 11 a.m. both days and continue until around 4 p.m., with gates opening at 9 a.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and children under 12 are admitted for free. This year’s races will be held Friday and Saturday.

The arena adjacent to the beach will hold a craft fair both days, with a concession stand.

Proceeds from the event, which is sponsored by the Norwood Lake Association, are put back into the community, Mr. McFadden said.

“This year we’ll spend $3,600 on restocking the lake with walleye, perch and bass,” he said, adding the association also spent $1,000 on a roof for the beach’s gazebo and provides lunch each day for students participating in the summer recreation program.

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