With a total of eight snowmobile divisions, organizers of the Mount Sima Uphill Challenge weren’t sure how to determine who would get the King of the Hill trophy.
By the end of the day, the answer became rather obvious.
Whitehorse’s Jake Jacobs, 19, took the honour by winning seven divisions at the event hosted by Yukon Yamaha at Sima on Saturday.
“I didn’t win one (of them), so I’m a little disappointed about that,” said Jacobs, with a small chuckle.
“It was awesome, I’m glad this was on,” he added of the event. “It was a pretty big turn out – actually, it was impressive. I can’t wait for next year. It’s big fun.
“I appreciate Sima letting us ride there. It’s a pretty nice of them.”
At the event, which sent racers halfway up the mountain two at a time, Jacobs won every snowmobile division with the exception of the 700cc modified class, in which he placed fifth.
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His favourite win was in the 800cc open modified class – the biggest engine class – taking first with a much smaller 600cc machine.
“I used the smallest sled there,” said Jacobs. “I’d follow the fastest lines. While everyone else was taking the easiest route, I’d take the quickest route.”
Fast machines were just one facet of his successes on Saturday, experience was the other.
Jacobs races in semi-pro snocross events for Team Arctic Cat in the southern states. This past season, while competing in the Amsoil Championship Snocross Series, Jacobs placed 19th out of a field of a 160 riders for his strongest finish. He also races for Team Kawasaki in motorcross during the summer in Alaska, last year placing second at the state championships.
“I have snocross experience because I went to go race down south for special snocross so I had a bit of an advantage on everyone,” said Jacobs.
On Sunday organizers decided to give an additional King of the Hill trophy to participant Darryl Tait.
“He’s a paraplegic and he’s out there racing up the ski hill on a snow machine,” said Jason Adams, organizer and president of Yukon Yamaha. “He was out there rallying as hard as anyone. It was unbelievable to see.”
While performing a backflip on his snowmobile at a sledding demonstration in New Hampshire in 2009, Tait’s spinal cord was severed when the trick went wrong and his machine came down onto his back.
Tait, who won 500cc class in the 2009 Uphill Challenge before his accident, was using a customized machine with a special seat and bindings for his feet. He placed seventh in the 700cc stock division.
“He only got to race the one (category),” said Adams. “I think he was entered in three categories, but he busted
“That’s another example of how extreme he still is.”
The Uphill Challenge – the second of its kind held at Sima – had 48 riders take part, 13 more than in 2009. It also featured a “fun” pro bravo (mini-snowmobile) race and a snowbike race.
“We promoted it a little more this time and had a little more time to do it properly, but we have room for improvement,” said Adams, who placed second in the 0-550cc stock and third in the 700cc stock.
So can snowmobilers expect the Uphill Challenge to become an annual event?
“That is definitely the plan,” said Adams. “That was the intention the original time too, but the management of the ski hill had changed, once, twice, maybe even three times between 2009 and now.”
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