From February 13th through the 15th, sled dogs and mushers (a person who competes in cross-country style races with dog team and sled) will gather in Laconia, NH to compete in the “86th Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.” Dog sled teams will come from all over the Northeast and Canada to compete, and there is a chance a European team (or two) will be in the starting lineup as well. Although the derby attracts international competition, it is truly a community event, with much of the race funding coming from the NH lakes region and its area businesses. The derby is put on by the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club, along with key members of the community, including city officials, public works and police departments, the local radio, and snowmobile clubs.
The derby hosts many racing events over the course of the weekend; the longest race covers a 15-mile trail, and is for teams competing in the “open class” (a race that does not restrict the number of dogs on a team). Other scheduled races include the “Six-Dog Classic” for adult mushers over a 6-mile trail, and the “One-Dog” and “Three-Dog” junior races for youngsters in the process of perfecting their mushing skills. The final racing schedule depends on trail conditions, and is dependent on the winter-like conditions in the days and weeks leading up to the derby.
With the PlaneSense® program, you can fly right into the heart of the derby on your PC-12, arriving into Laconia’s Municipal Airport (KLCI). It’s up to you to remember your camera and an extra layer of warm clothing, but we anticipate lots of fun if you choose to partake in the action. Once on the ground, make sure to keep your ears open for the howls and sounds of excitement floating up from the race course. We hope you will have the pleasure of seeing one of these skilled and majestic dog sled teams fly across your path with a swoosh!
Note: This article is displaying as it appeared in Volume 18 of our PlaneSense: Informational Quarterly newsletter.
Photo courtesy of Diane Lyman, Jen Lyman
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