The fourth full day of racing in Cain’s Quest had many high and low moments for Racers and fans. What began with early morning departures from Nain for the front running teams, Teams #59 and #22, travelling incredible speeds down the coast, soon turned to disappointment that yet another team had scratched; Team #91, Veteran father and son racers of Team 1-more scratching due to mechanical troubles.
A silver lining today, however, was the heartwarming story of Team 9’s encounter with a young 16-year old boy whose headlight broke on snowmobile between Makkovik and Rigolet. Team 9’s Mark Tinkham and Jeff Crann escorted the boy home to his anxious mother who had just initiated a search party for her son. As if this story was not touching enough, later today Team 5, Goose Bay, escorted a young boy home to Hopedale after finding him on a broken snowmobile.
Cain’s Quest has always been known for the stories of camaraderie and sportsmanship, but today’s recounting of rescue situations involving children has been beyond expectations of ordinary sportsmanship. These men placed the importance of not one, but two youth’s safety above any race standing position. We are proud to have them as competitors in this year’s race.
While the journey south from Nain for the leaders was exciting to watch, we were all glued to the screen watching the struggling, but determined Teams #94, Aivek and Team #6, CSR Racing. Both teams experienced incredible delays due to mechanical, but were determined to continue racing on the land God gave to Cain. Mechanical troubles persisted for Team #94’s Conrad Jenkins and Guy Bertrand, and they were forced to scratch before making it north. Team #6, however, arrived safely in Checkpoint #5, Natuashish, some 21 hours after checking out of Checkpoint #2, Goose Bay.
All teams must serve 12-hours of layover time in Nain, Checkpoint # 6, before choosing a flexible option of layover time (max 8-hours) between Checkpoint #7, Hopedale, and Checkpoint #12, Cartwright. Some may choose to take it early, while others may stagger the time in the minimum 2-hour increments. Others may wait until the final checkpoint to take their complete layover. When all teams have departed Cartwright we will have a true picture of the leaderboard.
Race Fans have been keeping up to date with the interactive yellowbrick tracking map, which reports each team’s exact GPS location, as well as regular posts and feeds from social media. Captivating images have been captured of the stunning northern lights, smiling faces of volunteers throughout the checkpoints, and tired (but often smiling) faces of the racers.
With over one third of the race complete and nine teams officially scratched, there is still plenty of time for racers to catch up, break down, or help more local boys find their way home.
For more information on Cain’s Quest, visit cainsquest.com. Follow us on Twitter @cainsquest, use #cq2016 or join the conversation on our Cain’s Quest Facebook page.
Cain’s Quest is the world’s toughest and longest snowmobile endurance race. It is an incredible off-trail riding adventure where teams of two battle in an all-out race through 3,500 kilometres of deep snow and thick wooded areas in some of the most remote parts of Labrador. The race is managed by Cain’s Quest Inc., a volunteer-run, non-profit organization.