Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 21, 2017 - 3:20 pm

Eight teams take off from Arctic Bay in this year’s Nunavut Quest

Mushers delayed two days due to bad weather

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Musher Teman Avingaq drives his team out of Arctic Bay April 20, at the start of this year's Nunavut Quest dog sled race. (PHOTO BY JF LATOUR)
Musher Teman Avingaq drives his team out of Arctic Bay April 20, at the start of this year's Nunavut Quest dog sled race. (PHOTO BY JF LATOUR)
Arctic Bay musher Michael Qanauq prepares his team at the starting line of Nunavut Quest April 20. He and eight teams are vying for the race's top prize. (PHOTO BY JF LATOUR)
Arctic Bay musher Michael Qanauq prepares his team at the starting line of Nunavut Quest April 20. He and eight teams are vying for the race's top prize. (PHOTO BY JF LATOUR)

One by one, the teams set off, quickly becoming distant specks of fur bouncing along the tundra.

The specks of fur were sled dogs, teams of 10 of them tethered to qamutiks, fan hitch-style. Eight teams left Arctic Bay April 20 as part of this year’s Nunavut Quest, the annual Baffin-based dog sled race, en route to the finish line in Igloolik.

The race was originally scheduled to begin April 18 but bad weather delayed the departure by two days.

The delay might have been worth it: teams left under bright skies and mild temperatures on Thursday.

This year’s participants come from four communities: Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet, Hall Beach and Igloolik. Dog teams will travel roughly 80 kilometres a day, setting up camp at night, as they traverse the 500-kilometre stretch towards the Melville Peninsula.

Nunavut Quest first launched as a regional dog sled race in the late 1990s. The event typically runs each year, though the 2016 edition was cancelled.

This year’s participating mushers include:

- Issac Irngaut from Igloolik

- Peter Siakuluk from Hall Beach

- Lee Inuarak from Pond Inlet

- Michael Inuarak from Pond Inlet

- Jonah Qaunaq from Igloolik

- Michael Qaunaq from Arctic Bay

- Andy Attagulukuluk from Igloolik

- Teman Avingaq from Arctic Bay

The winning musher takes home $15,000. You can follow the race from the Nunavut Quest Facebook page.

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