GANDER, NL – With very little snow so far this winter, Mark Tinkham hasn’t logged too many kilometres on his Bombardier Freeride.
That’s about to change as the Gander resident makes his final preparations for Cain’s Quest 2018.
Billed as one of the most extreme winter endurance races on the planet, Cain’s Quest is an estimated 3,200-kilometre snowmobile throughout Labrador, set to get underway on March 2.
Tinkham, along with support team member Brent Bailey, will be making the Strait of Belle Isle crossing to Labrador on Feb. 10 for a scouting trip as a lead-up to the race.
“We’ll have plenty of time for riding,” said Tinkham. “And it will allow us to test the sleds, to make sure they’ll be ready for the race.”
This will mark Tinkham’s fifth Cain’s Quest venture. He’ll be riding with partner Jeff Crann from Little Britain, Ont. as Team 09. It will be their second Cain’s Quest riding together.
Team 09 is probably best remembered from Cain’s Quest 2016 for assisting a stranded teenager the two came across between Natuashish and Hopedale.
Tinkham said a tremendous amount of work has gone into preparing for this year’s race, including improving snowmobiles, lining up support services, shipping fuel to the north coast of Labrador, and about 1,000 other details that might seem minor but are essential for the largely isolated run.
“We’re feeling good, we’re ready to go,” said Tinkham. “It’s one of those years where we are confident with our routing, and we have lots of connections on the coast to help us out.
“We’ve adjusted our plan from the previous race, and hopefully it will help us shave some time for a strong finish.”