St. John Valley

Can-Am 30-mile mushers are in; 100- and 250-mile teams still out on course

Ed Clifford of Raymond, New Hampshire runs alongside his sled dog team as they cross the finish line at Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent Saturday afternoon in the Pepsi Bottling and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Can-Am Crown 30.
Don Eno|Fiddlehead Focus

FORT KENT, Maine — Lonesome Pine Trails was the place to be Saturday afternoon, as mushers in the Can-Am Crown International 30-mile race began crossing the finish line shortly after noon.
Ed Clifford of Raymond, New Hampshire, was the first musher to pull into Lonesome Pine, with Michelle Redstone of Warren, Ontario, and Eric Dore-Delisle of Mont-Laurier, Quebec, right on his heels.
All 23 teams competing in the Pepsi Bottling and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Can-Am Crown 30 finished, but race officials are only expected to finalize results of the 30- and 100-mile races early Sunday morning.
James Trackberry of Virginia Beach was the last 30-mile event musher across the finish line, arriving shortly after 4 p.m., with his dogs looking in great shape.
Jeffrey McRobbie of Wayne returned to race in the Can-Am for the first time since he was seriously injured in 2016 when a snowmobiler struck his sled nearly head on just two miles after the start of the 30-mile race. That accident left the musher with a broken arm and other injuries, but he vowed at the time to return to Fort Kent to race again. It’s not clear yet in what position he finished Saturday, but McRobbie completed the race shortly before 2 p.m.

James Tackeberry of Virginia Beach pulls into the finish line at Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent on Saturday afternoon, the final musher to complete the Pepsi Bottling and Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Can-Am Crown 30.
Don Eno|Fiddlehead Focus

Lonesome Pine, which will be open for its usual alpine ski hours on Sunday, serves as both the finish line and rally area for fans and team supporters, as well as Can Am headquarters.
The 18 competitors in the Willard Jalbert, Jr. Can-Am Crown 100 were expected to arrive at Lonesome Pine late Saturday.
As of 4 p.m., all teams in the 100-mile race had reached the midway point and mandatory stop, and three had started back toward the finish in Fort Kent. At that time no 250-mile race team had yet to reach the first checkpoint in Portage.
There will be an awards ceremony and brunch for the 30- and 100-mile racers starting at 9 a.m. Sunday, at Lonesome pine.
The faster teams in the Irving Woodlands Can-Am Crown 250 are expected to begin arriving late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

 

(Photos by Andrew Birden, Don Eno and Jessica Potila)

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