Racing season packed with events and talent
By Tyler Bogert
With the temperatures dropping and the snow slowly starting to pile up all over Alaska, it’s time to think about some awesome snowmachine events. Every year throughout the winter months, there are always some big events happening. Here is a sampler of those events we would like to highlight:
Alcan 200 Snowmobile Road Rally
This race is known for high-speed road racing on extremely modified sleds. The race is roughly 189 miles up the Haines Highway
between the Canadian border and Dezadeash Lake. The first leg of the race is from the Canadian border up to Dezadeash Lake, with two mandatory gas stops. Once all racers, trail sweepers, officials and ambulance get to the half waypoint, the race turns around and heads back toward the Canadian border with another two mandatory gas stops for the finish. The highway is closed to through traffic for the event so there are no hazards of vehicles being hit by high-speed machines. For more information on how to enter or rules, check out www.alcan200.org.
Schedule of events for Alcan 200 (Haines)
Jan. 19, 2018: at the Fogcutter Bar
Calcutta auction with drivers sign up at 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 20, 2018: at Mile 42, Haines highway
Alcan 200 Race Road Rally
Race begins at 10 a.m.
Awards banquet and dinner at 6:30 p.m. American Legion Hall, public welcome.
Jan. 21, 2018: -at Location TBA
Snow Drags open at 10 a.m., race will begin at 11 a.m.
Iron Dog 2018
One of the most well-known snowmachine events in Alaska is the Iron Dog. This race is brutal. A team of two will start on Feb. 18, 2018 in Big Lake (after a Feb. 17, 2018 ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage) and go 2,031 miles to finish on Feb. 24 in Fairbanks.
The race will have every type of riding terrain, including open water, dirt, deep snow, ice, mountains, swamps and so much more. Iron Dog stretches out into a six-day race with the top teams finishing with course times of under 48 hours. In 2017, the winning team, Cory Davis and Ryan Simons riding Arctic Cats, finished the race in 41 hours averaging a speed of 50 mph over 2,031 miles. If that doesn’t show how tough this race is, consider that on average, 30-35 teams enter with only about half actually finishing the race. That shows you how incredibly difficult this race is.
Iron Dog does a great job of including the public with events like the Donlin Gold Safety Expo held on Feb. 14 at Cabela’s in Anchorage. This showcases the equipment and teams that will take on the Iron Dog trail. It’s a great event to see the machines and talk with all the Pro and Trail teams about their preparations and what they look forward to in the race. Also, Iron Dog has a ceremonial start on Feb 17 in downtown Anchorage, which also involves the public. The racers and machines are suited up and ready to go just like the real deal. This event is a must-see and follow via www.irondog.org or Facebook “Iron Dog.” You can also stay updated by watching the local TV news channels and by updating the race tracking software on the irondog.org site.
Schedule of events for Iron Dog 2018
Feb. 13, 2018: Racer Drawing & Hall of Fame Banquet (Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook)
Feb. 14, 2018: Donlin Gold Safety Expo (Anchorage, Cabela’s)
Feb. 16, 2018: Trail Class Start (Big Lake, Southport Marina)
Feb. 16, 2018: Friday night Flying Iron freestyle show (Anchorage Downtown)
Feb. 17, 2018: Official Start of the Iron Dog (Anchorage, Fourth Ave.)
Feb. 17, 2018: Saturday afternoon Flying Iron freestyle show (Anchorage Downtown)
Feb. 16, 2018: Start of the Trail Class (Big Lake)*
Feb. 17, 2018: Start of the Pro Class (Anchorage)*
Feb. 18, 2018: Pro Class Restart (Big Lake)*
Feb. 21, 2018: Halfway Ceremonies in Nome
Feb. 24, 2018: Finish of the Pro Class in Fairbanks
*All dates and times are subject to change
AMMC Racing 120 events
As you’ve probably noticed, there are a ton of events for adults. Those adults had to start somewhere to become skilled enough riders to take on big snowmachine events. It all starts with a great series that AMMC Racing puts on promoting kids 120 races. The amount of
riders that come out to these events really is incredible and hopefully will crossover to more sleds in the bigger races for the years to come. Typically the series runs with about six or seven events with each event scoring toward points for the championship of every class. Classes range from all ages and skill levels, which is perfect for the beginner or the more advanced young rider. Information about rules and how to get started can be found at www.ammcracing.org or via Facebook “AMMC Racing.”
Alaska holds one of the worlds toughest downhill ski race and an exciting snowmachine race all in one. We are talking about Arctic Man. This race is for a team of two skilled athletes of completely different sports, a skier/snowboarder and a snowmachiner. The race starts with the skier/snowboarder at a summit elevation of about 5,800 feet and drops 1,700 feet in less than two miles, where they meet a narrow canyon with the
snowmachiner on the go with a towrope. Once the two “hook up,” the snowmachiner will pull the skier/snowboarder 2.25 miles uphill at speeds reaching over 85 mph. After this long pull uphill, the skier and snowmachiner separate once again and the skier drops down the second mountain about 1,200 feet to the finish line.
Arctic Man averages about 13,000 spectators from all around the nation as well as different countries. Spectators and racers will show up a week prior to the race to have the ultimate Alaskan backcountry vacation. Racers have an opportunity to test their equipment starting Monday, four days before the race. Throughout the week, all kinds of different events are happening most of which are all-ages. For more information on parking, racing and any other specifics, you can go to www.arcticman.com.
Event Schedule 2018 At Summit Lake
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Course open for training. Watch for Crew.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Course open for training. Watch for Crew.
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Course open for training. Watch for Crew.
Driver’s Meeting. Top of First Aid by Release.
Course open for practice 4-6 p.m., then closed.
Driver’s meeting. Tent. Mandatory. Bib and Calcutta
10:30 a.m. Forerunners
10:30 a.m.: Tech inspections at hookup
11:00 a.m.: Race planned start