IFSS WC 2013, North Pole, Alaska
Alaska at its best in early March – sunshine, blue skies, well groomed fast trails, dog- and human friendly temperatures, around -10°C, the ingredients that made the IFSS 2013 World Championship such a huge success. Add to this several well-attended social gatherings with free food/drinks for athletes, handlers, families and officials.
Athletes representing 13 countries participated in the IFSS World Championship – Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Untied States.The Opening ceremony, held on February 28th started out with a parade where athletes and officials gathered on the Cheena River in Fairbanks and paraded into the Pikes Waterfront Lodge, all accompanied to drums played by the Pavva Inupiaq Dancers of Fairbanks. Inside the lodge more song and dance entertainment by the Pavva Inupiaq Dancers led by Amy Topkok and her husband Sean. Giving all attending a flavor of what Alaska has to offer of native music and dance. Followed by a generous buffet with a lot of local Alaskan delights.
IFSS president Bengt Pontén officially opened the World Championship with a welcoming speech. The oath of the officials was read thereafter by race judge Anne McIntyre. Team Norway’s Svein Ivar Moen, read the athletes’ oath.Race trails for sled classes and the 2-dog skijoring at North Pole venue where almost totally flat, very well groomed and fast for all the racers. Mass start arena for the 4-dog class was very well set up by Race Marshal Steinar Johansen with assistance by judges Anne McIntyre and Jerry Rachel. Overall, 4-dog mass start event was a huge success.
The Award ceremony was hosted at the race venue and followed by a banquet at Hotel North Pole, where all the athletes, their friends, handlers and family were convened. Before the award ceremony, IFSS President Bengt Pontén, read a memorial for Bob Levorsen. IFSS President Bengt Pontén also handed over an award in memory of Bob Levorsen to NPECD (technical organisation for the IFSS WC 2013).Ski-dog classes competed at the Salcha venue, which offered first class trails: “This is one of the best trails I have seen outside of Scandinavia,” noted Race Marshal Steinar Johansen. Trail at Salcha was well groomed and offered a quite hilly course with some sharp corners, all very much appreciated by the competitors and their dogs.
The IFSS World Championship open class was held in conjunction with ONAC Open North American Championship who also provided a first class groomed trail.
Anti doping drug tests where performed on both dogs and athletes as planned under supervision by Carin Ahlstedt. The IFSS race regulations and procedures comply with, and have been approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The closing ceremony was held during the banquet for the World Championship open class at Westmark Hotel, Fairbanks. IFSS VP of Sport, Helen Lundberg held a short speech where she thanked NPECD, all the athletes and volunteers who helped make the 2013 IFSS World Championship event a major success.
For IFSS World Championship race results and medalists, log on to www.sledogsport.net
In just a few months athletes will gather for IFSS Dryland World Championship, November 9-10th, in Italy at Falze di Piave (60 km north of Venice). The technical organiser will be the Italian Federation of Sleddog Sports FIMSS.
IFSS VP of Sport
Founded in 1985, the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) is a federation of more than 50 national sled dog sports associations and other national or international organisations contributing to sled dog sports on an educational, scientific or technical level. IFSS currently represents some 25,000 individual members in the discipline – an estimated 50% of all athletes globally – across 45 countries over 6 continents – Europe; North America; South America; Oceania; Asia; and Africa. The mission of IFSS is to promote comprehensive development, expansion and participation in sled dog sports in all their diverse aspects and to foster understanding and appreciation of the history and tradition of the use of sled dogs. IFSS is an active member of SportAccord, IMGA (International Masters Game Association) and complies with the World Anti-Doping Code.