Following the story of one of Jacques Cartier’s famous expeditions to North America, Cain’s Quest came from a reference that Cartier made to the harsh landscape. He referred to the coast of Labrador as “The land God gave to Cain”. From this story and the vision of the race, Cain’s Quest was born. This name represents the adventure the race promises to be and captures the essence of the land that hosts it.
How are team times determined?
Racers are always “on the clock” unless on a mandatory layover. Racers depart from the start line in 1 minute intervals. Their clock begins at the start line and will be adjusted for time delays at checkpoint #1. During race week all team times are recorded and updated on the website.
Do the racers ride at night?
The racers ride day and night, guided by a GPS. They are required to stop at pre-determined checkpoints along the route. Many of the checkpoints are “express” where both team members must sign in but are processed very quickly by a team of volunteers. The remainder are considered “mandatory layovers” where racers have to stop for a certain amount of time and are provided with accommodations. If racers stop between checkpoints, they are still on the clock.
How many people on a team?
There are two people on the race team but many teams have support crews. While support teams can provide advice, support, tools and nutrition, only racers are permitted to work on their machines (with the exception of welding).
Do they ride on groomed trails?
Racers are not permitted to ride on groomed trails except where indicated beforehand by Cain’s Quest.
Are there penalties?
Yes, as deemed necessary by the Race Marshall in consultation with the Race Marshall Committee. For example, if teams are late to the mandatory racer’s meeting and safety inspections, a penalty will be imposed. Teams may file protests against other teams which could result in penalties.
What is the most popular type of machine?
It varies from year to year. In recent years, the most popular race sleds were the Bombardier’s Summit and Freeride E-tech mountain machines. In later years, the Expedition seemed to be a team favourite.
How cold does it get?
The Labrador wilderness can get quite cold in early March. Racers have had to drive through temperatures as cold as -40 degrees Celsius. Of course, many of the checkpoints communities have also experienced unseasonably high temperatures during this time as well so temperatures and weather that time of year is hard to predict.
Do participants have to purchase their own gas?
Yes, participants will be responsible for purchasing their own fuel along the event course at community checkpoints. Participants can purchase fuel from local gas stations. Gas is sometimes available at remote checkpoints but must be purchased in advance. Participants are encouraged to bring a sufficient fuel supply to successfully travel each leg of the race.
Do teams have to follow a selected route between checkpoints?
No. Teams must reach checkpoints consecutively but may take any route to get there. Conditions may be identified at the Driver’s Meeting as well as areas that may be deemed hazardous or out of bounds.
What do participants do in the event of an emergency and there are no personnel in the vicinity?
Teams will be equipped with a GPS locator with an emergency feature. Teams in trouble that need to call for help may push this button and headquarters will be notified of exact positioning. Emergency rescue will be dispatched immediately.
Can participants work on machines or anything removed from machines off the clock/on a layover?
No. Work can only be performed on machines while on the clock.
Are snowmobiles impounded during a layover?
Yes. Once racers officially check in at a layover checkpoint, they may not access their machines until officially back on the clock.
Are teams timed and if so how? If yes, are these times tracked? Is there such a thing as going on or off the clock for any reason?
Teams will be timed via satellite device such as GPS or cellular/satellite phone. Times will be recorded/tracked for information purposes only. Teams will be ‘off the clock’ while on a layover.
How many tracking units per team?
1 tracking unit will be provided by Cain’s Quest per team. Cain’s Quest strongly advises that teams carry their own personal tracking devices for added safety.
What areas are out of bounds?
Out of bounds areas will be identified within the rules and clarified in more detail at the Driver’s meeting. Breach of these rules may lead to immediate disqualification.