Russian Sledders visit Mass (Evgeniy Borodin)
The Russian Snowmobile Association invited the BRP Fan Club to attend the International Snowmobile Congress (ISC) as the best club in Russia (in the opinion of ROSAN Co, the BRP distributor in Russia). The aim was clear: to meet new people, to share experiences.
Traveling is always useful and interesting. Communication with other snowmobilers is also a great thing. We were eager to understand how snowmobiling was organized in the USA and Canada. We wanted to know if we were coming at it the right way, if our thoughts were alike and if we lagged behind or excelled in any aspects. In any case, this was to be a successful experience.
Our delegation was not numerous. I would like to see more interested people from Russia in the future. ISC is not for everybody, of course; congress is for enthusiastic people. It could be a little bit boring for ordinary snowmobilers, but would be extremely interesting and useful for group leaders and club managers. I, for one, would like to break the ice between the USA and Russia, set up cultural exchange among snowmobilers, so that nothing will be lost.
Upon our arrival we were warmly received by SAM president, Dan Gould. He introduced himself and told us what seminars suited us best, saving us lots of time. I am so thankful to the organizers for finding a brilliant interpreter in Svetlana Peshkova! I didn’t feel a language barrier at all. Every evening – after the interpreter left for the day, I could still talk to foreigners with the help of an electronic interpreter. Language is not a problem in the modern world. But I’m happy to thank Svetlana with the help of the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts again. My visit is over but we keep in touch and I hope that our families will become friends.
I certainly would like to thank Dan, his team, and all of the organizers. Everybody was very responsive, and all my questions – whatever the topic was – got answers. The only thing that I feel sorry for is that I couldn’t clone myself to be able to visit all of the seminars. All of the topics were extremely interesting. Because I worked with an interpreter, we had to sit in a corner so as not to disturb others with our whispers. Here is a hint for ISC 2013 – invite people willing to practice their Russian (maybe immigrants or volunteers), people interested in snowmobiling. There’s a whole year for Wisconsin to get ready.
I liked the idea of the exhibits. As this was my first Congress, and I didn’t know about this. We would like to get a Russian Club exhibit devoted to the BRP Fan Club at ISC 2013. I also appreciated the Flamingo Bar, I am sure it was the place for the most fruitful discussions. I liked the auction a lot, too. It seems that I spent more money than anybody else there. It is a wonderful idea to donate money to different associations. When small amounts of money have an exact aim – you want to spend more. The golf fundraising idea was good. I’m not an American, so I’m not familiar with this kind of sport, but I’d be happy to organize a friendly hockey match between ISC members in 2013. I kindly ask organizers to take my offer and to start forming the team for amateur play next year!
I do have a little American in me when it comes to vehicles. I love pick-up trucks and big luxury cars, and I was lucky to see lots of them in Massachusetts. At home in Russia I have a hardworking Ford 250 Super Duty and a Lexus RX 350. I plan to buy a Ford 350 and a trailer in the future.
I agree with ISC 2012 members – the place for this congress was perfect – an inclusive venue, the schedule, the scenery – everything was concise and set us in the right mindset. The vintage snowmobile exhibition was also arranged perfectly. Everywhere there were people ready to help, and they were easy to find thanks to their bright t-shirts. And a nice change to the main program was the off-site at the Publick House.
The most vivid emotion of ISC 2012 for me was talking about groomed trails. On the one hand we don’t have such infrastructure, on the other hand, I think that’s for the better. We have the untouched virgin snow – “powder!” However, if we had the same trails as the USA does, we would then be able to verify statistics: how many snowmobiles were registered, how many miles were passed during the season… But the great difference between our two countries gives us the ability to investigate new places, meet people and have different kinds of recreation.
One should not think that the lack of infrastructure means that we lag behind in Russia’s snowmobile development. Members of our club are modern people traveling a lot. Most buy new snowmobiles, ATVs and outfits annually, moreover they drive snowmobiles of the current model year. Because of the ungroomed and sometimes remote nature of the trails, we have to be better prepared for extreme conditions than average. Sometimes we meet guys in fur boots – and they also have snowmobiles.
While reading the magazines that I brought home from ISC, I learned that there was little snow in the USA last winter. The situation in Russia was similar. But whomever searches for snow will find it. Some club members went from Perm to Lago Naki (Krasnodar region) and practiced snowmobiling in the endless snowy mountains. For our club the lack of snow meant that we had “only” 11 tours on snowmobiles from January to March.
At the moment we are actively corresponding with all interested people. We invite all associations, club and members and organization to contact us. We would like you to think about our invitation to visit Russia and see virgin snow. We can also organize group visits to the USA in order to get acquainted with snowmobiling.
Evgeniy Borodin is the head of Russian BRP Fan Club