On February 10 in Radisson, time trials will be held to determine the starting positions of the sixth edition of the Raid des Braves. The opening ceremonies and official start of the seven day race will also be in Radisson. With a length of 2,500 km, it is billed as the longest race of its kind in North America.

Inspired by the “Raid Harricana” concept, with three members per team and a sled, the first Raid des Braves took place in 1991 as mainly a local event. But it grew to 18 teams in 1993. In 1996 the organizing committee has been revamped to reflect the region. The members of the committee come from the communities along the course.’

Chief John Kitchen of Waswanipi is the honorary co-president. He says the Raid “is dedicated to highlighting the cultural and touristic aspects of each of the places along the route so as to enhance their strategic visibility and put our region on the map both in terms of value and marketability with its nordic charms in a unique bi-cultural setting.” Major sponsors include Hydro-Quebec, SDBJ, Bureau Federale de Développement Régionale and the Conseil Regional de Radissonie.

The 1995 Raid saw 12 teams start in Val d’Or and pass through Barraute, Joutel, Matagami, Lebel Sur Quevillon, Waswanipi, Chapais, Mistissini, La Dore, St Felicien ending in Jonquiere with a distance of 2,000km. Ten teams finished the race with Sinto Racing of Val d’Or winning overall, Team Mistissini coming in second and Natagan River of Barraute rounding off third.

This year there are a reported 20 teams signed up with six Cree teams. Team Chisasibi consists of Brian Bearskin, Archie Moar and Reginald Sam. Also from Chisasibi are the Skyhawks with Alan Sam, Hugo Rupert and Ricky Visitor. Representing Eastmain are Kenneth Cheezo, John Moses, Conrad Gilpin and Melvin Cheezo. Riding for Mistissini Pimpichuu are Larry Macleod, Stanley Mianscum and Abel Mianscum. Motoring for Waswanipi are Don Saganash, Marcel Gull, Peter Longchap and Bobby Gull. Saddling up for Radisson are Brian Duff, Gary Duff and Barry Duff. Prize totals are $50 000.

For more info call the Raid at 819-755-4064