International 520 km dog sled race "Volga Quest 2017" took place in Russia
The race was held from 11 to 17 February in the National Park "Samarskaya Luka" and on the ice of the Volga River through Samara and Ulyanovsk areas and the Republic Tatarstan. This competition consisted in two parts: stages race (230 km) and distance (290 km).
This year, the organizers managed to hold the competition according to their original idea. It was an undoubted victory of all the organizers: the big race support team, referee team and of cause the mushers teams themselves! The majority of them have been prepared especially for the Volga Quest.
On February 10 the meeting of mushers and organizers was held in the sled dog Village "Silver North" (Togliatti). There was a lecture by Steinar Dagestad, consultant veterinary on this race, concerning sled dogs health and treatment. At the end of the evening the riders broke bread and cheese from the race partners - local producers.
According to the draw mushers received the following starting numbers:
For the stage race 230 km
1 Dmitri Smirnov (Moscow, Severnyi team)
2 Julia Konopeltseva (Moscow area, Tancy Kali-Yugi Kennel)
For the distance Great Volga - 520 km
3 Alexander Bondarev (Moscow area, Hot Snow team)
4 Viatcheslav Demtchenko (Moscow, Severnyi Kennel)
5 Jindra Zelenka (Czech Republic)
6 Maxim Lyubavin (Moscow, presenting Serebro Severa sled dog kennel)
7 Alexei Perevozchikov (Republic Udmurtia, Izjevsk, Zavialovo village, Iz klana Simurana Kennel)
8 Arseni Tyuryumin (Irkutsk area, Listvianka, Baikal Sled Dog Center)
"Volga Quest 2017" was launched on February 11 at 13:00 from the pier of the city Togliatti, Samara region. Mashers crossed the Volga River and went on by land way following lendmarks.
Distance "Middle Volga" - 230 kilometers.
The first part of the race passed by the National Park "Samarskaya Luka" in three stages. The first stage - Togliatti- Sosnovyi Solonets, the second one - Sosnovyi Solonets-Shiryaevo and the third one - Shiryaevo-Uslada. The riders started with an interval of two minutes on each stage following their order of arrival the day before.
Arseny Tyuryumin immediately took the lead in the race, completing the first stage of 57 kilometers with a time of 6 hours 17 minutes and 58 seconds.
At the finish of the first stage of the race Alexander Bondarev withdraw of the race. It took him about 14 hours to pass it. The reason for withdrawal that was called by Alexander was psychological in unavailability of his dogs to a race. Physically dogs and mushers were in great shape, by his opinion.
In the second stage Jindra Zelenka came forward, but in the next, the third stage, Arseniy Tyuryumin took again the lead in the race and showed the first time on the stage race. The second result was shown by Jindra Zelenka, and the third one by Viacheslav Demchenko.
The winner of the category "Middle Volga" was Dmitry Smirnov, having passed the three stages of the race in 25 hours and 45 minutes and 30 seconds.
Another musher applied for Middle Volga, Julia Konopeltseva, unfortunately withdrew from the competition about 30 kilometers before reaching the finish line. During the rest stop in the forest Julia’s leaders’ dogs refused to leave the lowlands defending the team of the suddenly descended snow storm. When the blizzard subsided, the track was heavily covered with snow. Julia decided to withdraw from the race cause of fatigue and the late night time.
Dmitry Smirnov. Start in Togliatti 11.02.2017
Race "Great Volga" 520 kilometers.
Great Volga includes two parts: the three stages race of 230 kilometers and the non-stop linear distance of 290 kilometers. On the linear part there are three intermediate check-point where mushers obligatory come to make a mark on the passage. Also, all participants of this race need to make a mandatory stop to rest for eight hours at any of 3 intermediate check-points at the option - Russian Bektyashka, Ulyanovsk or Russkyi Bereg.
Started February 15 from Uslada, following the time intervals resulting the first part of competition – the Midle Volga Stage race. The first to start at 9:00 am was Arseniy Tyuryumin, followed in 13 minutes 30 seconds by Jndra Zelenka. Then at 12:02 Viacheslav Demchenko, and at 15:12 Alex Perevozchikov.
Alex Perevozchikov finished at the check-point Rzjavets 17.02.2017
Maxim Lyubavin, following the Race Marshal’s decision, was appointed to 16:12. Immediately after the start, Maxim and his team dropped in a water field between the ice and snow and his dogs team couldn’t carry out the heavy sled from deep water. Maxim turned out to the start place and took the decision to withdraw from the race, considering that his dog team was not ready to pass water fields at night time. The other 4 riders were lucky to pass this part of distance earlier than critical water level raised.
One more musher Jindra Zelenka cancelled to continue the competition on the second check-point (Ulianovsk). Caring of his 2 experienced dogs -team leaders he didn’t opposite veterinarian’s recommendation to remove these 2 dogs from the competition before cause of health reason. The Czech musher tried to continue the race with a new young leader. The attempt was unsuccessful, the dogs were not ready to cross puddles on the surface of the river and Jindra Zelenka decided to withdraw from the race.
Jindra Zelenka was awarded "For a Will to Win" - this nomination was suggested by the head of administration of Tatarstan. 17.02.2017
As a result of intense struggle, using various tactics and overcome difficulties of the track the last three riders of "Volga Quest 2017" finished at the check-point Rzjavets, near the city Bulgar, Republic Tatarstan.
The winners’ results of the linear part of the race 290 kilometers are the followings:
Arseniy Tyuryumin (Irkutsk region, having overcome 4000 km to Togliatti) is on the first positions. Arseniy is the first Russian driver to win the race "Volga Quest". The running time of the track: 39 hours 50 minutes 8 seconds.
Viacheslav Demchenko finished in Shiryaevo 12.02.2017
On the second place - Viacheslav Demchenko (Moscow). Viacheslav had taken part in all races "Volga Quest" and each time improved his results. Time: 41 hours 41 minutes 52 seconds.
On the third place - Alex Perevozchikov (Izjevsk). Time: 45 hours 43 minutes 31 seconds. After the award ceremony, Alex immediately left for another race - "North Hope", we wish success to Alex’s team!!
Awarding ceremony took place a few time after the finish of Alexei Perevozchikov.
Arseniy Tyuryumin. Start in Sosnovyi Solonets 12.02.2017
Arseny Tyuryumin received a check for 100 000 rubles, the tent "Tundra", a barrel of honey from the National Park "Samarskaya Luka" and other prizes from sponsors. All finishers of the Great Volga also received prizes from sponsors.
This year, several nominations were established:
Maxim Lyubavin was awarded in "The Sport’s Honor".
Jindra Zelenka was awarded "For a Will to Win" - this nomination was suggested by the head of administration of Tatarstan.
Jindra Zelenka. Start in Togliatti 11.02.2017
In "The Best Handler" Anna Eremina, the handler of Viacheslav Demchenko team was unanimously recognized the best.
Nomination "Audience Award", no doubt, has being got by Arseni Tyuryumin.
Athletes thanked the organizers, judges and volunteers for the opportunity to participate in this race, and for the quality of work done for carrying the Volga Quest Sled Dog Race 2017 in order of limited resources.
Sima, Strelka and Mars in Togliatti
The organizing committee of "Volga Quest 2017" thanks all mushers who took part in the competition.
The Committee expresses gratitude to the Government of Samara, Ulyanovsk regions and the Republic of Tatarstan, the mayor's office of Togliatti administration, the National Park "Samarskaya Luka" and the voluntary movement of Togliatti.
As well as the sponsors and partners of the project "Volga Quest 2017" are:
Sergey Pavlovich Lozin;
OOO PK "BASK";
Company "Yuni Fleyks";
Company "VIALON SERVICE";
Equipment center "Storm";
Recreation center "Russkiy bereg";
telecommunications operator "Lada-Media"
News portal News163.ru;
"Road Radio Tolyatti";
News portal «TLT.ru»;
Open Electronic Library "Ulpressa";
Group "EkoVoz" companies;
Computer embroidery studio "Alaska";
Timothy Salamatov and "Bakery Salamatov";
"Luke - Cheese of history";
"Dodo Pizza" international pizza chain;
Ex-president of Bank PJSC AVB Helena Petrovna Kazimova;
The federal party project "Ecology of Russia";
NGO "Council of event tourism Samara region";
Tourist Information Centre of the Samara region.
And most importantly, endless thanks to all those who sacrificed their personal savings to finance the race!
They are noted here bellow:
- Family of Larissa Buff (Volgograd);
- Andrew Zhurlov (Ulyanovsk);
- Sergey K .;
- Anna V. D .;
- Nadine G .;
- Galina Lovely;
- Denis and Lily Ryabukhina (Khabarovsk);
- Natalia T .;
- LLC "Underwater works" (Ulyanovsk);- First aid kit for dogs - "Kazan expedition" (Kazan);
- 2 000 rubles - an unknown donor;
- First aid kit for dogs - "Kazan expedition" (Kazan);
- 2 000 rubles - an unknown donor;
- Dimitri and Lilia Dyachkova (Ulyanovsk);
- Zelentsovsky Maxim E. - 400 liters of gasoline.
Many thanks to all who has helped to us to carry this race!
Organizing Committee of Volga Quest
Press service Volga Quest: Alexander Lavrov
Translation: Tatiana Lyubavina
Photo: Sergey Shcherbatyuk