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      Lake Linden man attempts to break world record

      Nearly 100 spectators came out to Rice Lake Saturday morning to support Erick Baccus' attempt to break a new world record for snowmobile watercross.

      "It's huge, and I'm nervous for him right now," said Cecelia Baccus, Erick's wife. "There are so many people!"

      In order to set a new record Erick, 26, must power through at least 44 miles of water.

      The impressive feat even caught the attention of the Discovery Channel who sent a crew out to document it.

      "I'm so proud of him," said Jennifer Labonte, Erick's sister. "When Erick gets something in his mind, he does everything he can to get it done."

      The crowd cheered as Erick tore off from the lakeshore, but confusion came when Erick's estranged cousin followed him out just seconds after. Despite the unexpected rider, everything seemed to be going smoothly.

      "I started out strong, made the first couple corners, did a whole lap around the lake, I got around again," explained Erick.

      But then after just 5.2 miles, Erick was nowhere to be seen.

      "I could feel the engine kind of breaking in, but apparently it wasn't breaking in, it was breaking," Erick said.

      Meanwhile, Erick's cousin received an unwelcome return as many in the crowd saw him as trying to spoil Erick's run.

      "I think it's really unfair," Labonte said. "This person (Erick's cousin) rode Erick's coattails today, and that's really sad because Erick wasn't doing this for himself...he was doing this to give money to the community."

      That same community is now helping Erick cope with his disappointment.

      "At first I was pretty frustrated because of the engine problems," Erick said. "But that's another thing about the U.P.; here in the Keweenaw, everyone supports people for good causes, and I couldn't ask for any better support from the community."

      Erick has the backing of 23 sponsors, and all of the proceeds from Saturday's event will go to the Hubbell Fire Department where Erick serves as a volunteer firefighter.

      While Erick was not able to break the world record, he did raise $124 for the Hubbell Fire Department.

      As for his future in watercross sports, Erick says he'll probably stick to snow.