Race Rules

The race follows the IFSS regulations, International Federation of Sleddog Sports Race Rules.

Further more there are additional rules for Polardistans (see below) and all participants must have read and taken note of Polardistans’ dog care policy.

The races are approximately 160 km and 300 km, and is only open for the registered purebred polar dogs of the breeds Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, Samoyed and Siberian Husky. 

PD300 is during the 2020 year’s competition awarded WSA’s Long Distance World Championship status. PD160 does not have WSA championship status.

POLARDISTANS – EXTENSIONS RULES

  1. Category B: Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, Samoyed. Category C: Siberian Husky. 
  2. Dogs starting at PD300 must have obtained the age of 24 months on the starting day. Dogs starting at PD160 must have obtained the age of 18 months on the starring day.
  3. Men and women are running in the same class in both styles and all classes. 
  4. Minimum age for the musher is 18 years in all classes.
  5. In pulka style the dogs may run in double file. 
  6. All sleds in the pulka classes must have brakes, regardless of size of the team.
  7. The size of the pulka/sledge must be sufficiently so that the equipment, which was vacuum compressed at the start, even fits into the pulka/sledge when unpacked 
  8. In nome classes group  B usage of a shaft of maximum 10 mm covered glass fiber material is allowed. All necklines must have plastic hooks, even rubbar band lines with wooden plugs, the so-called Eskimo hooks as well as the smallest brass (3/8”) pistol hooks can be used. 
  9. Metal BGB-hooks1/ are NOT allowed in nome style but can be used in pulka/nordic style if they are attached to solid shafts, nowhere else. 
  10. The competition has mass start within the respective class. The classes can be merged in case of too few participants in some classes.
  11. All dogs must be registered and microchip marked. Ear tattoo is not be accepted.At the registration all original pedigrees and vaccination certificate will be checked.
  12. Mushers and handler not attending the mandatory musher and handler meeting are not allowed to start. The starting fee will not be returned in this case. 
  13. ALL participants must submit a correct filled Working Dog Test form – computer written and in 2 copies – to secretariat in connection with the registration. This form is even used as a microchip control list.
  14. B! Lack of original registration certificates, lack in meeting the vaccination requirements, lack in the mandatory equipment or that musher or handler does not participate in the mandatory meeting means that the team is not allowed  to start. The starting fee will not be returned in any these cases. 
  15. Number of dogs at start and finish for each class: 
Classes Number of dogs
At start At the finish line
MD 160 pulka/nordic Max 4 1
MD 160 sledge/nome B 8 Max 8 4/5 *
MD 160sledge/ nome C 8 Max 8 4/5 *
LD 300 pulka/nordic Max 4 1
LD 300 sledge/nome B12 Max 12 7
LD 300 Sledge/nome C 8 Max 8 5
LD 300 nome C 12 Max 12 7

*/5 or 6 dogs at start, minimum 4 dogs at the finish line

*/7 or 8 dogs at start, minimum 5 dogs at the finish line

MUSHERPASS/INSURANCE

Swedish participants must have a so-called “green card” and a private liability insurance. (SDSF’s racing license does not apply to Polardistans). Non Swedish mushers must have a “musher pass” and/or bring documentation of a private liability and casualty insurance covering this kind of sporting activity. (The documentation preferable written in english or german). Bring it to the secretariat when you do your registration. 

MARKINGS

The trail goes mainly along the marked snowmobile trails. The trail marking is complemented by race signs with reflective tapes and warnings at road crossings. 

We follow the IFFS’s rules for marking and you can read more about this on the IFSS/SDSF website www.draghundsport.se

SEARCH AND RESCUE

Search and rescue operations will normally be initiated 24 hours after the last contact with a team. Unnecessary stops between the checkpoints should therefore be avoided. If a situation occurs and a search and/or rescue action is needed  prior than 24 hours, the decision is made by the race organization together with the Mountain Rescue Team or similar emergency services. Participants shall at all times have enough food and equipment to survive for at least 24 hours – both taking care of themselves and the dogs..

The emergency rations, both for musher and dogs can be used 24 hours after the team left the latest checkpoint. In other words; this means that a musher at any time must ensure that he/she has sufficient amount of food for himself /herself and the dogs when leaving any checkpoint

MANDANTORY EQUIPMENT

The list of the mandatory equipment is available on the website. Dates and times for equipment control are in the program on the website. If the equipment is not complete or not approved by the race judge the team will be banned from starting. Equipment control should be completed prior to the musher/handler meeting. The team that starts on Tuesday are inspected with priority on Monday. Random inspections will also be carried out during the race. The equipment will also be controlled at the finish line. 

Mandatory equipment that is lost or broken during the competition can be replaced at checkpoint against a time penalty of one (1) hour. Any replacement or change of equipment must be approved by the race marshal/race judge or checkpoint manager and it is to be noted in the checkpoint files and reported to the secretariat. If mandatory equipment is missing during the random inspections during the race or at the inspection at the finish line the team gets a time penalty of 3 hours. 

START

Polardistans has mass start in classes down on the frozen lake at Särna camping.  Dates and times for the starts can be found in the program on the website. . Classes with few participants may be merged. Starting poles will be drilled into the ice on the starting line; one pole per team. Its very important that each team fastens the starting line as low as possible on the pole, recommended at the  icelevel.  There will be plenty of time to get the teams ready  on the starting line between the start of the classes.

Volunteers with access to snow-scooters and ATWs will be available for those teams who needs assistance in getting down to the starting area.

The finish line will be up at Särna camping in front of the yellow main building. The latest arrival for finishing within the official time will be Friday the 6thof mars at 16.00 o’clock.

REINDEER AREA

The trail goes through reindeer grazing areas. The dogs must therefore be kept under strict control in these areas. Participants are responsible for any damages his/hers dogs are causing to the reindeers.

VETERINARY HANDBOOK

At the registration every participant will receive a veterinary handbook. This shall be given to the veterinarian at the checkpoint in connection with the mandatory veterinary checks. A team cannot leave the checkpoint without the veterinary handbook has been signed by a veterinarian.

  • No dogs are allowed to be dropped from the competition without a veterinary inspection. All dropped dogs must be noted in the veterinary handbook. At any time a veterinarian can request a re-check before a team is allowed to leave the checkpoint and continue the competition. The veterinarian can even require an extra re-check at the next checkpoint.
  • A re-check of the dogs may also be required at the checkpoint for PD160.
  • Injuries to dogs shall be reported to the veterinarian and be noted in veterinary handbook. The veterinarian team reports all injuries and dropped dogs to the race organizer.
  • It is each participant’s responsibility that the veterinary handbook is signed by the veterinarian at all inspections.
  • At the finish line, the veterinary handbook shall be given to the veterinarian who controls the team.
  • Lost veterinary handbook results in disqualification! 

DOG TAGS

All dogs starting at the Polardistans should be tagged with a dog tag attached to each dog’s ‘ collar. The dog tags are handed out at the vaccination control in the secretariat in connection with the registration. A deposit of SEK 200 shall be paid at the registration in the secretariat. Please be aware that the payment has to be done by credit card, we cannot handle cash money. The deposit will be refunded upon return of the dog tags in the secretariat after completing the race, but no later than Saturday the 7thof march at 12.00 o’clock. If more than half of dog tags are missing the deposit will not be returned. 

CHECKPOINT

Along the trail is one checkpoint where the teams have to pass through. PD300 passes the checkpoint two (2) times and PD160 once. Water is available for all teams at the checkpoint and it is possible to leave a tired, injured or sick dog at the checkpoint. The musher is responsible that a dropped dog is picked up at the checkpoint by the handler. 

The checkpoint is closing Friday the 6th of March at 06.00. All teams must have left the checkpoint at this time. If a team leaves the checkpoint after the closing time the team will be shut off from the competition. The closing date and time can be extended by the race jury. 

MANDANDTORY REST

Polardistans 160 has 1 mandatory rest of 2 hours. The rest is taken at the checkpoint in Öjvassla.

Polardistans 300 has two (2) mandatory rests: one rest of six (6) hours and one rest of four (4) hours. These two rests have to be taken at the checkpoint in Öjvassla and they cannot not be added together to one rest of 10 hours. The two rest can be taken in which order the participant wants and the rests can of cause at any time be extended if desired. 

MUSHER AND HANDLER MEETING

The musher and handler meetings are mandatory for mushers and handlers. The dates and times for the meetings are published in the program on the website. 

HANDLER

The handler may help at the start and finish area to take care of the musher’s dogs. At the checkpoint, the handler may only help to lead the team in and out from the checkpoint and help the team to park at the designated pole. The handler may stand guard behind the sledge if the musher is sleeping, but are not in any way allowed to help with the dogs. Only the handler of the team  is allowed around the team at the checkpoint area. 

When the team is parked on the designated parking pole, the handler or the musher shall provide the starting number for the pole to one of the volunteers and the volunteer will attach the number to the pole. The team will be parked at the same pole when coming into the checkpoint the second time. This is to minimize the infectious risk. 

Handlers and mushers may meet within the marked area around the fire. Dropped dogs can be handed over to the handler at this marked area as well. No dogs can be taken out of the race without a veterinarian check!

If a musher does not have a handler, he/she has to notify this upon the registration in the secretariat and the race organizer will instruct the volunteers to pay extra attention and help teams without a handler. If one person is handling several teams it has to be notified to the secretariat in connection with the registration as well. It is important that the handler has the handler bib with the right number on when handling the teams to avoid any misunderstandings. 

DEPOT AND DEPOT BAGS (ONLY POLARDISTANS 300)

N.B! Only dog food, isolating mattress and blanketsfor the dogs is allowed in the depot bags! 
 
The mushers bring their own bags and the handlers are responsible for the bags being available at the right place at the right time at the checkpoint. 

The bags must be clearly labelled with the name and the starting number of the musher. The bags may only contain cold or dry dog food (not wet or heated food and no cooling bag boxes) and *isolated mattressesfor the dogs to rest at together with a blanket. The musher himself/herself has to get the bag from the designated place and return the empty or used bag/bags to the same location. Handler is responsible for removing the empty or used bag/bags –and it also applies if the team drops out of the competition. Control of the depot bags will be done at the checkpoint by the race judges. N.B! Only dogfood, isolated mattress and blankets are allowed in the depot bags

*Isolated mattress is replacing straws this year at Polardistans, approved by Swedish Board of Agriculture.

WATER 

Water is available at the checkpoint for all teams. The musher has to get the water from the designated area. The water bottles must be returned to the same location as they were picked up as soon as possible

BIBS

In connection with the registration in the secretariat the musher receives a start number (orange bib) which has to be attached to the pulka/sledge during the entire race. A second BIB with the starting number has to worn by the mushers during the entire competition. A third BIB with the starting number has to worn by the handlar as soon as he/she in around the team during the competition.  All 3 BIBS must be return to the volunteer at the finish line. Non-returned BIBS will be invoiced to the musher after the competition. 

DOGS IN CARS

Dogs that during the race is taken into a car, a house or similar are not allowed to continue the race. 

HELP

Volunteers or handlers may help to guide the team in and out of the checkpoint. Volunteers direct the team to a designated pole for a short or a long stop. Mushers are not allowed to receive any other help during the race other than to control, slow down and keep the team at the checkpoints. Help to get the team started is not allowed.

In case a pulka/sledge/ski/ski stick is broken, the musher may get help from the handler. The handover of the replacement equipment shall take place at checkpoint unless something else is agreed with the race marshal, race judge or checkpoint manager. The change of equipment must be approved prior to the handover by the race marshal, race judge or checkpoint manger. The musher must repack the sledge, not taking any help from anyone and then leave the broken sled/sledge/ski/ski stick to the handler. 

Otherwise, no help is allowed during the race. 

DEAD DOG

If a dog dies during the race, it must be transported to the checkpoint or the finish area. The dog should be carried in the sled and be covered upon arrival at checkpoint/finish area. Upon arrival the musher shall contact a veterinarian, race marshal, race judge or checkpoint manager. If possible, the musher or his handler, shall inform a veterinarian or the race organizers that a dog has died before the team reaches the checkpoint/finish area. If possible, the dog can be picked up at an agreed place. The musher can continue in the competition if the first check clearly shows that the dog has died of causes other than neglect. 

PROTEST

Any protest shall be given in writing on the designated form, no later than one (1) hour after the finish. Protest fee is 300 SEK. 

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