Cree Team Pimpichuu consisting of Claude and Norman Coonishish and Larry MacLeod were racing again after two years revived Harricana Raid race. Last time they raced the squad was a Canadian Yamaha factory team. This year Pimpichuu would be racing under the Polaris banner as they were sponsored by Ou J’ai Des Sports.
In all twelve teams raced in the Harricana Raid and Pimpichuu was the only Cree team to enter this year. The Harricana Raid was reluctantly dropped in 1992 but resurfaced again this year. In the past there were more Cree communities on the circuit but this time only two Cree communities would be part of the race, Mistissini and Ouje-Bougoumou. For Mistissini, the community where the Pimpichuu team comes from, residents had to have been happy to see the team come in first for Stage 4 of the race with a time of 3 hours 40 minutes and 58 seconds beating out second place Port-Cartier, who took 4 hours and 7 seconds.
It wasn’t as narrow a win as when Pimpichuu took first place in the first heat with 1 hour, 56 minutes and 59 seconds. In that stage, the second place went to Winn’s StrykerBerthec, who came in with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 41 seconds.
At the end when all the times were added up it was first place to Winn’s StrykerBerthec with a time of 27 hours, 49 minutes and 35 seconds. Second place went to Yamaha Cote-Nord with a time of 29 hours, 58 minutes and 43 seconds. Third place was Gaspesie Poly-tour timed at 30 hours, 46 minutes and 27 seconds. Refexio-Kimpex Yamatek Marieville took fourth overall with 33 hours, 38 minutes and 11 seconds. In Fifth place was Pimpichuu with a cumulative total of 38 hours, 3 minutes and 5 seconds.
In all, organizers awarded $148,239 in prizes, most of which will go to the winners, with two prizes going to the most daring and to the most sportsmanlike. Originally only about $125,000 in prize money had been announced. The first place Wynn StrykerBertec Team from Quebec took home $55,490 in prize money for the 2002 Harricana Raid. Yamaha Cote-Nord received $27,245. Third Place Gaspesie Poly-tour got $15,550. Refexio-Kimpex Yamatek Marieville made $23, 885. Pimpichuu took home $15,295 in prize money. If you’re confused by the difference it’s because of the prize setup. While overall race results are important there are prizes for winning in each of the eight stages of the events as well as $5,000 prizes for the best international, Canadian and First Nations teams.
The Harricana was created in 1989 with Nicolas Hulot, and then reluctantly suspended in 1992. This race is a 2000 kilometer race with each teams composed of three snowmobiles, one of which is attached to a sled that carries the necessary material like gas, tools, emergency equipment, etc. This year’s race was co-sponsored by STAQ, the Quebec Aboriginal Tourism Corporation For those wishing to enter into next year’s harricane registration fees are not cheap at $7,500 per racer but this year they included the sled, food, sleeping accommodations and this year the two-piece outfits made by Chlorophylle of Chicoutimi.