A Day by Day Account from Team 22, Cain’s Quest 2016

DAY 1…

We were the 30th team to leave the starting line.  We left Lab City and passed multiple teams en route to Esker.  We dressed heavy because of the cold on the lake.  We were stuck bad on Esker road in a large snow drift.   We caught up with the front runners before Churchill Falls, and we were the first team checked into Churchill.  Leaving Churchill falls we broke trail.  Eight teams caught us and Team 44 before we reached the road crossing. We crossed the road a few times and ended up with Andrew’s sled in a brook.  Five teams worked to get it out because no one else knew where to go.  It was a long morning getting into Goose Bay.  Checked into Goose Bay in 2nd place.

 

DAY 2…

There was a big confusion getting on clock. We were supposed to be working with Teams #44 and #59.  We waited for Team #59 until a Checkpoint Official told us they went on without us. We rode to North West River for gas and Team #59 wasn’t there, so we left without them.  Just out of NWR Team #44 broke a clutch.  We waited just over an hour for them to get parts and repair the clutch. It was a rough ride up the coast.  Team #44 exploded a belt getting into Postville, we lost another 20 minutes.  North of Natuashish, Team #44 cracked off their tunnel.  We lost another 15 minutes.  We really lost our motivation for the rest of this leg, but checked into Nain in 2nd place.

 

DAY 3…

We woke up to a phone call that Andrew’s Pop had passed away. Went on clock and the knot came out of Andrew’s pull cord, so we fixed that and headed south.  Caught up and passed Teams #59 and #87 before Hopedale and checked in first. We had to change a rear shock in Andrew’s sled in Hopedale.  Before getting to Makkovik, an engine mount bolt broke and destroyed the clutches on Andrew’s sled.  We checked into Makkovik in 2nd and changed Andrew’s engine mount bolt and clutch.  Then we checked into Rigolet in 1st, and had a good break and birthday cake. People at every checkpoint sang Happy Birthday to Rob! On our way from Rigolet to Valley Bight Rob’s A-Arm bolts came out.  We had to remove and reinstall all 4 lower bolts properly.  We were 1st into Valley Bight and Mealy Mountain National Park checkpoints.  Before Cartwright a bolt fell out of Andrew’s slide and it wrapped around the rear idler.  Rode into Cartwright in 1st place.

 

DAY 4…

We fixed Andrew’s sled and headed south.  Visibilty was awful on the sea ice.  We had 2 failed attempts to go inland and lost a lot of time.  Checked into Port Hope Simpson in 1st place. Then we received misleading info about getting into Mary’s Harbour and lost more time.  Checked into Mary’s Harbour in first.  We received a 15 minute time correction out of Mary’s Harbour because of the poor information we received from Cain’s Quest officials in Port Hope Simpson.

 

DAY 5…

We pulled out of Mary’s Harbour and headed to L’Anse Au Loup.  Lost a lot of time trying to navigate around communities, groomed trails and mandatory waypoints.  We ended up in 2nd place into L’Anse Au Loup.  Took the west route to Birchy Lake, and we opened a lot of trail along the way.  Teams #59, #3, #20 and #67 caught up with us.  Ended up breaking a front shock on Andrew’s sled and ski rubbers on Rob’s. We arrived in Birchy Lake together, and we were 2nd to check in. We did repairs at the road crossing, and support crew had a dish of meatballs ready. After our lunch, we caught up with the teams that went ahead in a little over an hour.  Ended up opening trail through the Mealy Mountains.  Just before the broken trail in the gorge, Andrew broke his rear suspension.  We told the teams to go on, but out of respect for opening all of the trail teams #67, #3, and #59 followed us into North West River.  We checked in first.

 

DAY 6…

Started the day by fixing Andrew’s sled, and Rob’s radio.  We left North West River about an hour and fifteen minutes behind the lead teams.  We made our way up through and checked into Churchill in 2nd place.  This was all because of Rob’s strategy and route choices.  We went fast, but strategy was a major part of our success.  We rode safe to Esker and checked in first.  We made up the hour and fifteen minutes we were behind and managed to gain twenty-three minutes on the other teams.  Due to our check in time in Esker we were held overnight to ensure a daylight finish.  We stayed at Dixon Clements cabin, which had been warmed up already by Mike Sheppard and Corwin Clements. They also provided a warm meal for supper and breakfast . We invited Team #3 to stay with us because there wasn’t much room at the checkpoint.  Great friendships were made.

 

DAY 7…

We were off to the Finish Line with a 23 minute lead. All we had to do was hold the sleds together and cross the Finish Line.

We finished in 1st Place!!!  We pulled away from the rest of the field with a 49 minute difference between 1st and 2nd place.

Thanks to all our Support Crew and Sponsors!!!

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