Salluit to Puvirnituq

Ivakkak 2021 makes it to the finish line!


Puvirnituq – March 11, 2021 – All teams made it into the final community of Puvirnituq yesterday, officially bringing the Ivakkak 2021 race to a close after travelling approximately 450 km over 8 race days. This year’s edition started in Salluit and travelled through the communities of Ivujivik, Akulivik before making it to the finish line in Puvirnituq.

Team #2 – Aisa Surusilak and partner Paulusi Amarualik were the first to cross the finish line and took first place with the shortest overall time of 39H:30M:03S. Second place went to Team #11 – Jani-Marik Beaulne and partner Jackusie Amamatuak, with a total time of 42H:03M:25S and Third place went to Team #10 – Kulu Tukalak and partner Peter Qinuajuak with a total time of 43H:32M:12S.

Maggie Emudluk was present in Puvirnituq for the end of the race: “Bad weather and varying snow conditions made for a particularly tough year for all Ivakkak 2021 participants. Despite the challenges, we are very proud here at Makivik of all the teams and support staff who participated in this year’s edition of Ivakkak and carrying on this important tradition. Your resilience and ability to push through all challenges shows us that you have dedicated the time to building strong dog teams, which is a big part of what Ivakkak promotes.”

The teams left Salluit on February 24th, making their way through the communities of Ivujivik, Akulivik, and finally finishing the race in Puvirnituq. Soft snow conditions along with frequent blizzards made for a particularly tough first half of the race this year, forcing it to be put on hold on multiple occasions.

The first 230 km was the toughest distance to travel, steep hills mixed with soft snow made for slower than normal travelling speeds for all teams. In addition to the soft snow making it harder for the sleds to glide across the land, it was also hard on the dogs’ paws. This portion saw the departure of 3 teams from Ivakkak 2021. Team 3 – Matthew Arngak and partner Padlayat Kaitak were the first out of the race when their dogs decided they no longer wanted to pull, and as a result, they returned to Ivujivik.  Team 8 – Alec Aupaluk and partner Tiivi Kulula, along with Team 5 – Paulusie Jason Irnik and partner Jamie Kiatainaq, were also pulled from the race due to difficulties travelling in the tough snow conditions.

The next 220 km made for much better travelling conditions on the ground, although low visibility still proved to be an issue on a couple of the days, with the teams travelling in a blizzard on one of the race days. The teams were otherwise able to travel faster and for longer distances each day, thanks to the harder snow.

Here are the final standings for all Ivakkak teams:

Rank Musher | Partner T# Community Total Time
1 Aisa Surusilak | Paulusi Amarualik        2 Puvirnituq 39:30:03
2 Jani-Marik Beaulne | Jackusi Amamatuak      11 Puvirnituq 42:03:25
3 Kulu Tukalak | Juani Cruishank

Peter Qinuajuak, Akulivik – Puvirnituq

     10 Puvirnituq 43:32:12
4 Willie cain Jr. |   Charlie Angnatuk        9 Tasiujaq 43:32:33
5 George Kaukai | Johnny York-kritik      12 Kuujjuaq 44:41:24
6 Aibilie Qumaluk | Carlos Surusilak        4 Puvirnituq 49:49:00
7 Edua Lucassie | Derek Taqulik        6 Kangirsuk 51:03:07
8 Sandy Jaaka | Thimothy Shea        7 Kangiqsujuaq 52:38:21
9 Johnny May Jr. | Ahuya Snowball May        1 Kuujjuaq 54:40:57
10 Paulusie Jason Irnik | Jamie Kiatainaq        5 Kangiqsujuaq DNF
11 Alec Aupaluk | Tivii Kulula        8 Kangiqsujuaq DNF
12 Matthew Arngak | Padlayat Kaitak        3 Kangiqsujuaq DNF

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