Labrador City team takes first for Cain's Quest

Ty Dunham
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Labrador City’s Team #73 Watkins-Willmott took first place in Cain’s Quest, the world’s longest snowmobile endurance race.

Jason Watkins and Kevin Willmott returned home to cross the finish line at 11:08:15 a.m Saturday, March 8, after a grueling weeklong trip around Labrador, competing against 29 other teams of two.

Fresh from the finish line and surrounded by fans, Willmott said it’s good to be home.

“It was a beautiful trip, a great bunch of people to go snowmobiling with. But it’s good to be back.”

Teams scratched through the week for various reasons, but team #73 endured some incredible challenges to take the $50,000 purse.

Willmott said the wind was the toughest part.

“It was a really high wind and blustery. The snowpack on the ice was always solid too, so it was just ‘bang, bang, bang.’”

Before the race began the team said they wanted just wanted to finish the race, but Willmott said he’s okay with taking first place too.

“So many things can go wrong with that race. Everybody wants to finish first, and you hope for it. But you go to try to finish it.”

 

Team #77 Backcountry Ravens' Roland Barth and Jason King of Happy Valley-Goose Bay crossed the finish line at 11:31:57 a.m., taking second place's $30,000 purse.

 

Team #7 snowXcapes.com's Kirk Hastings and David Price of Ontario finished third at 1:24:39 p.m. and will take home the $20,000 purse.

Cain’s Quest Chair Todd Kent said this year’s race has been a good one.

“It’s been a long week. But when they’re coming in safe it’s a good day.”

There were a few mishaps during the race, including an incident in Cartwright where a snowmobiler collided with a truck but continued the race without serious injuries. On the last day of the race, Team #00 Innu Hawks lost their first place lead after getting wet in a brook and were unable to get dry clothes in time to continue the race.

Kent said although officials try to mitigate accidents, it’s the nature of the sport.

“In an extreme sport like this it’s not uncommon to have those little scrapes. You’d rather not, but it happens. There’s a certain amount of risk attached to it and we try to learn from each race and improve the next one.”

Racers, safety crews, and over 300 volunteers across Labrador can finally breathe easy knowing everyone’s home safe and sound. But there’s no time to rest for organizers planning the next Cain’s Quest race.

“We’ve already started,” Kent said.

ty.dunham@tc.tc

Geographic location: Labrador, Cartwright

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  • Terry oake
    March 09, 2014 - 09:32

    How come there is no complete finish list of all the teams