PEI

Lawnmower racing drawing crowds on P.E.I.

Lawnmowers on P.E.I. are not just for cutting the grass any more.

Monthly races being held in Morell

To the victor goes the spoils at the P.E.I. Lawn and Tractor Racing Club. (CBC)

Lawnmowers on P.E.I. are not just for cutting the grass any more.

Lawnmower racing, which started out as a hobby among a group of friends in Morell, is attracting crowds to what is becoming an increasingly sophisticated track.

The club is attracting more people with every race, says Jeff Wilson. (CBC)

"When I first seen somebody racing a lawnmower, I said, I've got to do it," said P.E.I. Lawn and Tractor Racing Club president Jeff Wilson.

It started out small a few years ago; six people in the middle of a field.

"It's grown," said Wilson.

"We've got close to 30 members in our club now, and we've got other racers that show up. Every race gets more and more people."

An international sport

The machines are actually lawn mowers, with the mowing decks removed. There are other modifications. They've been souped up to go faster, and they are much louder.

It's not that difficult to get a lawnmower ready to race, says 10-year-old Elizabeth Leger. (CBC)

While the sport is relatively new to P.E.I., there are well-established clubs in Europe, the U.S., and other parts of Canada.

Ten-year-old Elizabeth Leger said it's not that difficult to get a lawn mower ready to race.

"You just tinker a few things: swap pulleys, switch belts, take off the deck," said Leger.

There is a junior division where Leger races. Her dad is also part of the club and they work on their racing mowers together.

Track improvements

What started out as a field is now a dirt oval lined with tires and bales of hay, complete with a judging stand.

There are plans to continue with improvements, to add bleachers and fencing around the track.

The club hopes to host monthly races through to October. Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to the Children's Wish Foundation.

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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