Special Snowmobiling Event For Professional Racer

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Snowmobilers will pay tribute to an old friend and competitor when Wausau hosts the city's first professional snowmobile race in almost 20 years.

The Wausau 525 competition next month is named after the racing number of Philip "Flip" Merwin, a 28-year-old professional snowmobiler from Wausau who died January 2003 at the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River.

Organizers say they expect the 525 snowmobile race to draw some of the top snowmobile racers in the country to a third-mile ice track on a manmade lake at the city's Sunny Vale Park.

Flip's father, Ralph Merwin, is the president of the Wausau 525 board. He says putting the event together has been an emotional endeavor.

Proceeds from the event will go to "Flip's Fund," which helps children with severe illnesses and funds college scholarship programs.