Ivakkak 2021 – The next edition of Nunavik’s Ivakkak Dogsled Race will be held on Nunavik’s Hudson Bay Coast starting in Salluit, and ending in Puvirnituq. The race will be a special one for Nunavimmiut as it marks the 20th edition of Ivakkak! The racers will travel through the two Nunavik communities of Ivujivik and Akulivik, before reaching their final destination. The race is expected to last approximately 11 days and, if all goes well, Puvirniturmiut will welcome all teams at the finish line on March 4, 2021.
All four communities involved participated in a teleconference with Makivik Corporation’s Race Coordinators Akinisie Sivuarapik and Lynn Moorhouse in November 2020 in order to get approval from each of the community leaders. The initial plans were well received by all community leaders and Makivik’s Ivakkak team will continue to prepare as proposed. Due to COVID-19, the hosting of special events in each community will depend on the situation of the pandemic.
In 2020, the 19th edition of the race started with 7 teams in Kangirsuk with a total of six teams crossing the finish line in Kangiqsualujjuaq. Willie Cain Jr. and his partner, Ken Labbé from Tasiujaq, took 1st place with a total time of 43 hours, 11 minutes and 33 seconds. Aisa Surusilak and his partner, Aipilie Qumaluk from Puvirnituq, took 2nd place with the total of 43 hours, 21 minutes and 52 seconds. Janimarik Beaulne and his partner, Peter Angutik Novalinga from Puvirnituq, took 3rd place with the total of 43 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds.
The race was extremely tight with only 11 minutes and 5 seconds separating the first-placed and third-placed teams. The 4th placed team was led by Kangiqsujuarmiut Sandy Jaaka and Matthew Arngak (Arngak replacing late Willia Qullialuk) totalling 45 hours, 14 minutes and 46 seconds. George Kaukai and Timuti Angnatuk, both from Kuujjuaq, came in 5th place, having travelled a total of 46 hours, 28 minutes and 28 seconds. The 6th placed team was led by Eric Ittukallak and Jackusie Amamatuak of Puvirnituq with a total time of 48 hours, 40 minutes and 5 seconds. Noah Uqittuk and Janu Jaaka decided to pull out of the event in Aupaluk due to their dogs being exhausted, therefore could not complete the race.
“All the best to the 2021 Ivakkak teams on the 20th edition of the Nunavik Dogsled Race! The race will begin in Salluit and finish in Puvirnituq. Over the years, Ivakkak has demonstrated, and has kept alive, the traditional way of winter travelling within our arctic homeland, Nunavik,” said Maggie Emudluk, Vice President of Makivik’s Economic Development Department.
For live tracking of the 20th Ivakkak race, make sure to tune in as live feeds will be made available on our event website: http://www.ivakkak.com.
Best of luck to all teams!Ivakkak 2021 begins in Salluit and ends in Puvirnituq