Alexander Voronov and Viktor Simonov
On January 23-25 for the second time Petrozavodsk will become a venue for the Sled Dog Race On the Land of Sampo that this year will be held as the World Cup. Let us remind that the Sled Dog Race On the Land of Sampo, one of the most exciting and expected winter events, is held in Karelia since 2012.
The competition is organized by the Ministry of the Republic of Karelia of Youth Affairs, Physical Training, Sports and Tourism, the Federation of Sleddog Sports of Karelia, Administration of Petrozavodsk City, Scythians Tour Ltd. and Snow Dogs Sled Dog Race Club.
On January, 19 at the briefing held in the Government of the republic, Alexander Voronov, Minister of Youth Affairs, Physical Training, and Sports of the Republic of Karelia, and Viktor Simonov, Councillor of the Head of the Republic, famous Karelian traveller and enthusiast of mushing have told the journalists about the program of the race and preparation for the event.
As Alexander Voronov has told, the Government of the republic supports development of the sled dog race in Karelia. Every new competition involves more and more participants and spectators.
This year 122 application forms from racers of Russia (Moscow, St.Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Nizhni Novgorod, Murmans, Vologda, Voronezh, Samara, Tver, Rostov, Stavropol, Volgodonsk, and other towns), as well as from Czechia, Finland, Serbia and the Republic of Belarus.
On the words of organizers, powerful infrastructure has been built for the competition. The Sled Dog Race On the Land of Sampo in Karelia that used to be held at the same time with other competitions in Russia have now taken a firm place in the calendar of sports events in Russia.
– We're expecting the leading racers to come to Petrozavodsk, as they all point out the high-level of organization of the competition in Karelia, – Viktor Simonov has told. – Unfortunately, some sportsmen had to refuse the trip to Karelia, as their dogs were not prepared for the competition because of snowless weather in Central Europe and European Russia.
The city ski stadium in the mouth of the Lososinka River near the Gorka sport and entertainment center will be a venue for the World Cup stage in Petrozavodsk. January, 23 will be the first day of the competition. Official opening as well as the most entertaining races will take place the next day on Saturday, January, 24 at 11 a.m.
The first race will start on January, 23 at 11 a.m. at the city ski stadium in the mouth of the Lososinka River near the Gorka sport and entertainment center. The racers will compete in disciplines of mid distance (45 km) and short distances (6 and 10 km). The teams will include 4, 6 or 8-12 dogs. As a tradition, mushers will compete in skijoring (freestyle racing with 1 or 2 dogs). The prize fund for the winners makes 1,200,000 roubles.
The race track is laid through the territory of Kurgan sports center, which Igor Tracz, World and European Dog Sled Champion, has called one of the best in Europe, as well as through the forest near the settlements of Lososinnoye and Mashezero. Live webcast of the race will be available on a large screen near the starting line and on the official site of the race http://en.gonka-sampo.ru/. Broadcasting is provided by Rostelecom.
President of Latvian Federation of Sleddog Sports Girts Eldmanis will be the Race Marshal. Besides, the event will be attended by special guests Alexander Orlov, the Head of the Expeditionary Center of the Russian Geographical Society and Vice President of the Association of Polar Explorers, and famous traveller Feodor Konyukhov.
As Alexander Voronov has observed, the republic keeps competing for the right to be a venue for the World Sled Dog Championship in 2016. Once again, international observers will be watching the race. Anne McIntyre, Vice President of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports, is coming from Australia.
Spectators will enjoy the entertaining program, lotteries and dog sled riding.
According to Viktor Simonov, the organizers have paid additional attention to provision of parking lots. As the layer of snow is thin, the organisers' most concern is preparation of race tracks. 150 volunteers from all over the republic will be involved to render assistance to the race participants and spectators.