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Cain's Quest proved to be great journey for riders from west coast

Brian Seaward
Brian Seaward - Submitted

Several snowmobiling enthusiasts from this neck of the woods are trying to recuperate from testing their mettle in one of the biggest endurance races on the planet.

Two teams from the west coast managed to crack the Top 10 in an endurance race through the Labrador wilderness that saw only 17 of 41 entries cross the finish line.

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Stephenville snowmobile duo taking first crack at Cain's Quest

Sheldon Wiseman of Croque and Brian Seaward of Pasadena, known as Team Newfoundland and Labrador, managed to place eighth overall.

Mike Pye of Deer Lake teamed up with Randy Winter of Goose Bay, registered as Farrell’s Excavating Ltd., finished in 10th spot.

Stephenville natives Guy Styles and Lee White had to pull out the race at Checkpoint 15, oh so close to the finish line, but denied the chance to finish after mechanical issues took them out of the running on the final stretch.

The Star chatted with the riders after they had a chance to recover from a 3,200-km trek through the Labrador wilderness.

Brian Seaward, Pasadena Team 33

How would you describe the experience?

I guess it was like a trip of a lifetime if you are a snowmobiler. As for endurance side I felt really good throughout the whole race. I really never got tired. We had some mechanical issues, but we fixed it on the trail and that’s what put us back a few spots. We broke a h-frame on the rear suspension and we fixed that on the trail. That was the only hiccup but that was enough to put us behind and we lost three or four places.

What was the toughest part of the race for you?

There was nothing tough about it. One night we left at 11 p.m. from L’Anse au Clair and got in Churchill Falls the next morning around 8 a.m. and we had a three-hour layover before going right to Labrador City and got there around 4 or 5. I rode all through the night and all the next day and I might have yawned once or twice. That was the longest part where we were going steady, but I never really got tired so I guess I was just so hyped up. The weather was so good and we were in a beaten path and we followed the track. We didn’t have the Labrador coldness to drain you.

How do you feel about completing the race?

I was really happy when I got across the finish line, but I was a little disappointed because we fell back a few places due to our mechanical issues. But, other than that I was overwhelmed with it.

Sheldon Wiseman, Croque Team 33

Sheldon Wiseman
Sheldon Wiseman

 

How would you describe the experience?

There wasn’t much hardship to it when you were travelling on a beaten trail all the way. It was a great experience with the all the people on the north coast and south coast … the people you met were just awesome. You couldn’t ask for better people.

What was the toughest part of the race for you?

There was no toughness about it. The hardest part was trying to see. With a low ceiling it was just so blind driving. For four days you couldn’t see two feet ahead of you most of the time.

How do you feel about completing the race?

I feel great about it. I wish we could have done better, but it was great finishing. Out of three races I’m after finishing two so that’s not bad.

Mike Pye, Deer Lake Team 19 Farrell’s Excavating Ltd.

Mike Pye
Mike Pye

 

How would you describe the experience?

The experience was amazing. I don’t regret it that’s for sure. It’s something that you will remember for the rest of your life. It’s too bad we never had more time to take it all in with photographs and things like that. The views and scenery … I have never been snowmobiling in the northern Labrador area so to see the sea ice and the coastal communities it was quite something. Overall, the race was well put off. It was gruelling and very tiring for sure, but definitely a terrific experience.

What was the toughest part of the race for you?

The toughest part of the race for me was getting sleep. When I would get to a checkpoint, even if it was a mandatory layover, I was on my laptop and I was almost like a fan and a racer. I was interested in my buddies racing behind me and wondering if they made it certain checkpoints. Once I did lay back to go to sleep I guess the overall excitement of everything I couldn’t sleep. Continuing to race injured and without sleep it was tough. I had a really big blister on my hand, but I hurt my wrist about 20 kilometres into the race. I almost wiped out the ski-doo, but I just saved it and I buckled my wrist back so it was injured for the duration.

How do you feel about completing the race?

Before the race, it’s funny, I talked to my partner Randy Winters about it being a competitive field. Like I said before, I don’t go at anything unless I’m going to try to win it that’s just the way I am. We did sit down before the race and I said I would be satisfied with a top 10 finish and he said he’d be satisfied with finishing because he had never finish before. He raced three times prior but never finished so I said I would be happy with Top 10 and it was looking pretty desperate on Menihek Lake when I blew the motor in my skid-doo 120 kilometres outside of Labrador City. Randy said to me “Well, we tried,” and I replied “Randy, we’re going across that line tonight. Hook up that bungy up I am towing you in.” So I towed him 120 kilometres across the line and still finished 10th. Just to finish it after something like that happened was pretty good.

Guy Styles, Stephenville Team 49 GNR Racing

Guy Styles
Guy Styles

 

How would you describe the experience?

It was awesome. The atmosphere, the people and the hospitality at all checkpoints was unbelievable. It was just a really good experience over all. I’m definitely looking at doing it again for sure. I definitely want to finish it the next time hopefully and give it another go.

What was the toughest part of the race for you?

Losing the engine was the toughest part. We think we had some poor quality fuel and that caused a piston to go on Lee’s race sled. So we fixed it in Charlottetown and put another piston in it and went on again and almost made it to Eagle River plateau and it went again.

How do you feel about not completing the race?

It’s disheartening, but it’s all you can do. There was only 17 teams out of 41 that did complete it so we’re not the only ones who didn’t finish.

Lee White, Stephenville Team 49

Lee White
Lee White

 

How would you describe the experience?

I absolutely loved it. Going into the communities we were treated like royalty. We went in there and people were cheering and clapping, and we felt like we were Wayne Gretzky or somebody coming into the stadium it was amazing.

What was the toughest part of the race for you?

The toughest day I had was Churchill Falls to Nain. That was a really, really rough going day, and after that we kind of got into the beat of it and physically it wasn’t bad after that. We knew we had a beat and we knew we were going to be able to do it, but to not be able to finish it because of a mechanical issue that was a tough part.

How do you feel about not completing the race?

I’m disappointed, but at the same time I think we were doing really well up until that point. I was happy that the race didn’t beat us. It was a big disappointment because I really wanted to come into Goose Bay where my family was and stuff and I wanted to finish, but there’s always another kick at the can.

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