Laconia, Tamworth sled dog races cancelled


LACONIA — Two sled dog races with long histories have been cancelled due to poor trail conditions.

The Lakes Region Sled Dog Club canceled the 89th annual Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby when it met Wednesday night to discuss trail conditions. The race had been scheduled for March 2-4.

The club cited warm weather and lack of snow in the forecast for next week in announcing the cancellation.

The race had previously been postponed from last weekend, due to rain and warm temperatures that had caused the deterioration of the 15-mile trail the club had built earlier this year.

The New England Sled Dog Club has cancelled the Tamworth race, which had originally been scheduled for late January and was postponed until Feb. 23-24.

An announcement on the club’s website stated, “The surface of the lake has been degrading for sledding purposes and will not survive the coming warm up.”

It also had what it said was good news: “The landowners who had considered shutting down trail access will allow use of the trails for next year’s race.”

It was the second straight year that the Tamworth race has been cancelled due to poor trail conditions.

The New England Sled Dog Club formed in 1924 during a meeting held at the Wonalancet Farm and Inn, owned by Arthur and Kate Walden, and has been holding sled dog races in Tamworth since 1925.

The club organized the first sled dog races to take place in Laconia in 1929 and 1930. The races were taken over and run by the Laconia Sled Dog Club in 1931, and were named the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby in 1935.

The Laconia  races were discontinued after the 1938 race but were revived in 1956 by the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club.