11 Teams Prevail in 10th Hudson Bay Quest Dog Sled Race
Written by Tom Terry of Sioux Lookout, Ontario (Team Handler and Father to HBQ race veteran Jesse Terry)
Churchill, Manitoba — Musher Peter McClelland of Ely, Minnesota and his team of ten hardy canines were first crossing the finish line in the 10th Hudson Bay Quest dog sled race, held March 15–18, 2013, with the last of the original 15 mushers and 150 dogs arriving in Churchill, Manitoba after more than two and a half brutally challenging days on the trail from the start at Gillam.
Churchill race organizer and musher Dave Daley. Tony Loewen photo.
Strong north winds (>70 km/h) and cold temperatures (–32° C) accompanying an arctic weather system proved to be the most daunting obstacle for all teams as wind chills exceeded -54° C for almost the entire race on the open tundra. Teams found little if any opportunities for shelter either on the trail or at the various checkpoints along the way, and race veterans stated the conditions this year were the most challenging faced since a three-day blizzard forced a mid-race cancellation several years ago – that year along the route from Churchill to Arviat, NWT.
Churchill musher Charlie Lundie. Tony Loewen photo.
After slipping away from the Lamprey checkpoint, McClelland maintained an average speed of almost 11 km/h over the remaining 120 km to Churchill, including stops. A group of four teams followed two and a half hours later, regularly changing places vying for position as the end neared, but McClelland’s team kept their pace and maintained their lead to the finish.
2013 HBQ champion Peter McClelland.
Four teams made the difficult decision to withdraw at the halfway checkpoint at M’Clintock (a mandatory six hour rest with a second veterinary check of all dogs), and several teams made extended stops there and at other checkpoints. Teams withdrew for a number of reasons, all related to dog and or driver health and well-being. The fact that more than one of the drivers and teams which withdrew were Iditarod and or Yukon Quest veterans attests to the challenges faced by mushers in the Hudson Bay Quest 2013.
2013 HBQ runner-up musher Sean McCarty.
In addition to the cash purse distribution to all finishers, a number of awards were presented to mushers at the HBQ Awards Banquet held on Monday, March18th at the Churchill Town Centre Complex. Troy Groeneveld, of Minnesota, won the Churchill Northern Store Award for the First Team to Halfway Point (M’Clintock Checkpoint). The Veterinarian Award, presented to the musher selected by the Race Veterinarians as having provided the best care for their dogs, was presented to Jesse Terry, of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The Calm Air Sportsmanship Award, along with the Red Lantern for being the last musher to successfully cross the finish line, was presented to Churchill musher Dan DiMuzio. The Award for the Best Checkpoint, selected by the mushers themselves, went to the Canadian Rangers (Churchill) manning the Lamprey checkpoint.
1st Peter McClelland, White Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota (37 h, 19 m, 47 s)
2nd Shawn McCarty, White Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota (38 h, 57 m 44 s)
3rd Troy Groeneveld, 10 Squared Racing, Two Harbours, Minnesota (39 h, 01 m, 21 s)
4th David Daley, Wapusk Adventures, Churchill, Manitoba (42 h, 09 m, 30 s)
5th Matt Groth, 10 Squared Racing, Two Harbours, Minnesota (42 h, 15 m, 44 s)
6th Jesse Terry, On the Land, Sioux Lookout, Ontario (45 h, 22 m, 25 s)
7th Hank DeBruin, Winterdance, Haliburton, Ontario (45 h, 24 m, 52 s)
8th Ed The Sled Obrecht, Cayamant Kennels, Otter Lake, Quebec (49 h, 38 m, 08 s)
9th Jim Oehschleager, Ozone Sled Dogs, Newberry, Michigan (50 h, 35 m, 25 s)
10th Charlie Lundie, Charlie’s Tours, Churchill, Manitoba (54 h, 11 m, 21 s)
Red Lantern/11th Place Dan DiMuzio, Sled Dog Energy, Churchill, Manitoba (62 h, 58 m, 20 s)
Scratched: Ryan Anderson, Stefaan DeMarie, Julie Robitaille, Al Hardman.
The Hudson Bay Quest Race Committee and competitors are very grateful to the many sponsors and contributors, without whom this race would not be possible, including the Platinum sponsors (Calm Air International, the Canadian Rangers, The Churchill Mitigation Trust Fund, VIA Rail Canada), the Gold sponsor (Manitoba Hydro), the Silver sponsors (Aurora Inn, Churchill Chamber of commerce, Exchange Petroleum, Hudson Bay Railway, Churchill Wild, Frontiers North Adventures, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Town of Churchill, Town of Gillam) and the many friends of the HBQ!