LACONIA — Jim Lyman, trail boss for the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club, says that the recent snowstorm, which dropped about 10 inches of snow in the Lakes Region, has helped create nearly ideal conditions for the 88th Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.
Lyman and his trail crew were out Tuesday grooming the trail, which has been modified this year so that it won't be crossing any lakes and will be close to 16 miles long. One new section this year will be the former Lyman Rice airport property behind Petal Pushers Farm on Parade Road, where a loop has been constructed which adds a mile to the course.
'We lost over a mile by dropping the part of the course which used to go out onto Lake Winnisquam but lengthening some new loops at Laconia Country Club, so the mileage is pretty much the same as it was when we had the last race in 2015," says Lyman.
He said that the forecast calls for warm weather for the weekend, which will create ideal conditions for spectators.
This year's races is being run in memory of Keith F. Bryar II, a two-time derby winner who died last February. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Keith Bryar Sr., who won three titles in the 1960s.
The starting line will be located in the field across from the former Laconia State School property on North Main Street, at the intersection of Old North Main. The "open"class teams will be following a trail through the Laconia Country Club, which is hosting spectators, with the trail continuing next to Paugus Bay at Southdown Shores, then traveling up the old Hilliard Road, across Route 106 down to Meredith Center Road and returning to the start/finish line. Several spectator vantage points can be found along Parade Road. The open trail will be approximately 16 miles long.
The 6-Dog Classic will follow a trail through a portion of Southdown to the Laconia Country Club, where the teams will do a 3-mile loop at the golf course and return to the finish line. The 6-Dog trail will be a total of 6 miles. There will also be a 3-Dog Junior Class running on Saturday and Sunday and a One-Dog Fun Race on Sunday. One-Dog registration begins at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday.
Thursday at 7 p.m. Mushers will meet at the Country Club at 7 p.m. where there will be a drawing for starting positions. On Friday the six-dog class gets underway at 10 a.m. and the open class will start at 1 p.m.
Saturday the six-dog race starts at 10 a.m., with the three-dog junior class starting at noon and the open class at 1:30 p.m. Sunday will see the six-dog class getting underway at 10 a.m., the three-dog junior race at noon and the open class at 1:30.
An awards ceremony will be held at the Country Cub Sunday at 4 p.m.
Many top Canadian mushers will take part in this year's race, including defending 2015 champion ReJean Therrien. (There was no race last year due to the lack of snow.). Other racers include two-time winner Claude Bellerive and Guy Girard, a three-time top 3 finisher.
Jim Lyman, foreground, trail boss for the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club, and other members of the trail grooming team, were at the former Lyman Rice airport at Peal Pushers Farm on Parade Road Wednesday morning, where a new loop was being built on the trail for the 88th Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 567