The racers were nestled all snug in their beds – well, some of them anyways.
A rest and hot meal was waiting for Team #4 (Back Country Racing) as they arrived in Goose Bay Checkpoint #2 at 2:14 a.m. They were soon followed by Teams #99 and #29 at 2:40 a.m. and 2:44 a.m, respectively.
Teams continued to arrive at their first mandatory layover checkpoint all throughout the night. Team 88, Southern Sno Riders found their way after a wrong turn north east of the Churchill Falls checkpoint. They made great time and arrived at Checkpoint at 11:10 a.m.
Eighteen teams had checked into Goose Bay before 6 a.m. and by mid-afternoon were back on the race clock and headed towards Birchy Lake, checkpoint #3. Teams 4, 99 and 29 continued to hold their top positions on the leader board, with Teams 4, 30 and 69 not far behind.
Speed and luck were not on the side of Teams 8, Northern Lights Racing, and 82, Premium Business Solutions, who spent much of the early morning hours stopped at Cache River. Early reports indicated an encounter with some open water.
Two additional teams scratched throughout the day, both due to mechanical issues. Team #40 Kawawa said, “we had every part but one…just one part, so we couldn’t fix it.” When asked if they would come back to try again, the answer from the team was a resounding “yes.” Team 87 Guertin Equipment, the first team to leave the start line, also experienced mechanical issues and had to scratch. They returned via road to Labrador City to report back to headquarters. Team member Lyle Willson said, “It happens. It would have taken us 20 hours to fix. We had to scratch.”
The first team into Birchy Lake, Checkpoint 3, was Team 29 Natuashish at 5:03 p.m., followed closely behind by Team 00 Innu Hawks and Team 99 The Great Ones. Getting to Birchy Lake was a little tricky for three teams (38, 69 and 98), who ended up snowmobiling past it. Teams 69 and 98 finally checked in at Birchy between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. while Team 38 headed back to the Trans Labrador Highway to await fuel.
Teams 00, 29 and 99 got a little off track on their way to L’Anse au Loup, Checkpoint 4, ending up in Quebec on what we were told is an ungroomed trail. Teams 5 and 30 ended up in the pack as well but it was Team 00 Innu Hawks who zoomed into Checkpoint 4 first at 11:02 p.m. Atlantic time, greeted by over 120 roaring fans.
As night continues to close in, Team 00 Innu Hawks maintain their lead and two teams in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (8 and 82) are anxiously waiting out their eight-hour mandatory layover.
The next mandatory eight-hour layover is a split between Port Hope Simpson and Mary’s Harbour, with the first half of the teams expressing through Mary’s Harbour and staying in Port Hope Simpson while the last half waiting out their time in Mary’s Harbour. Teams will likely start arriving there in the early hours of the morning on March 3.
Keep checking the tracking page on cainsquest.com to follow the racers through the 3,300 km route and get the latest information by liking our Facebook page Cain’s Quest Inc. or following us on Twitter @cainsquest.