Lack of snow forces cancellation of Eagle Lake sled dog races

Posted Jan. 08, 2011, at 1:12 p.m.
Four time Can Am Crown International Sled Dog Race winner and Yukon Quest finisher Martin Massicotte of St-Tite, Quebec takes off at the start of the Irving Woodlands-Mad Bomber 100 Sled Dog Race. (Bangor Daily News/Julia Bayly)
Four time Can Am Crown International Sled Dog Race winner and Yukon Quest finisher Martin Massicotte of St-Tite, Quebec takes off at the start of the Irving Woodlands-Mad Bomber 100 Sled Dog Race. (Bangor Daily News/Julia Bayly)
A sled dog appears to be catching a quick cat nap on the back of his teammate prior to the start of the 100-mile sled dog race in Eagle Lake this weekend (BANGOR DAILY NEWS Photo by Julia Bayly)
A sled dog appears to be catching a quick cat nap on the back of his teammate prior to the start of the 100-mile sled dog race in Eagle Lake this weekend (BANGOR DAILY NEWS Photo by Julia Bayly)

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — The unusually low snowfall amount over northern Maine has taken its first casualty with the cancellation of the 2011 Irving Woodlands-Mad Bomber Sled Dog Races.

“After a race committee meeting Friday it was unanimously decided to cancel the 2011 [races] due to lack of snow and recent rain,” according to the race website, www.eaglelakesleddograces.com Saturday morning. “It was hoped that a recent storm would drop enough snow to save the race by providing safe conditions but this did not occur.”

The committee also opted against postponing the race to avoid conflicts with already planned events.

Close to 50 mushers from New England and Canada had signed up for the 100- and 30-mile races that were to run Saturday, Jan. 15, beginning and ending in Eagle Lake.

Area dog sledding enthusiasts now will look ahead to the Can-Am Crown International series of races set to take off from Fort Kent on Saturday, March 5, from Fort Kent.

According to the Maine Geological Survey, which recently released results from a snowpack survey, Maine’s snowpack is at normal levels, but the highest levels are along the coast and not in northern Maine.

The report indicates snowpack depths in northern Maine of 1 to 6 inches.

“We apologize to all teams and sponsors, however safety of the teams is our primary concern and this will not be compromised,” the committee said on its website.

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