Snowmobile hits 106 mph on open water

ANCHORAGE — Two Anchorage men are staking a claim to the world speed record for driving a snowmobile across open water.

The Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/1hIgSRN) reports Rick Coffman hit 106 mph Sunday crossing a channel of the Knik (kuh-NIK’) River. Observers recorded the feat with a radar gun and a video camera.

Coffman built the sled with Andrew Smith, co-owner of Anchorage Yamaha.

They modified a 2008 Yamaha Nytro snowmobile, adding horsepower and a system to burn nitrous oxide fuel.

Their goal was a record set by a Norwegian man in August — 102.5 mph.

They did not have immediate success when tests began Labor Day. Their snowmobile at first reached only 75 mph. It sank four times, twice in water so deep Coffman had to dive to retrieve it.

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