Polaris will showcase the terrain domination of the versatile new 2012 600 Switchback Adventure as three members of the Iron Dog Ambassador Team ride the new sled on the grueling Iron Dog race course across Alaska, Feb. 18-26.
Among the Iron Dog Ambassadors on a new Switchback Adventure is Mike Bedard, Polaris Snowmobile Engineering Manager, Trail Performance and Race. The other 2011 Iron Dog Ambassadors who will ride the 2,000-mile race course ahead of the Pro Class racers to promote the race and spread goodwill across Alaska are: Skip Boomershine, a member of the Iron Dog Board of Directors and the Ambassadors' team leader; Mark Ivy, the assistant leader (who will ride a 2010 Polaris Dragon Switchback, a sled so durable it has already run the Iron Dog route in 2010); and Alaska National Guard Lt. Col. Joseph Lawendowski.
Polaris history includes several milestone snowmobile trips throughout Alaska, as well as 12 Iron Dog wins (in 26 years), the most of any brand. So the choice of Polaris as the sled provider for the Iron Dog Ambassador team was a natural.
"Alaska is the ideal place for us to demonstrate the terrain-dominating performance of the new 600 Switchback Adventure," said Scott Swenson, Vice President/General Manager PG&A and Snowmobile Division. "We're excited to be part of the inaugural Iron Dog Ambassador ride and are eager for everyone along the race route to see this versatile new model."
The First `Adventure Snowmobile'
The 2012 600 Switchback Adventure delivers "Versatility Without Compromise." It is outstanding on- and off-trail, has new comfort and convenience features and also has the new Adventure Cargo System. Motorcyclists have do-anything adventure bikes and the Switchback Adventure is the first "Adventure Snowmobile."
This new model has the Pro-Ride progressive-rate rear suspension, a new Independent Front Suspension, outstanding power from the 600 Cleanfire engine and the innovative, Polaris-exclusive Adventure Cargo System. Saddle bags and an accessory cargo bag can be installed on or removed from the sled's cargo rack in just seconds-without tools-using Polaris Lock & Ride technology.
Saddle Bags (standard with this sled) and an accessory Cargo Rack Bag have Lock & Ride expansion anchors that fit into precision-cut holes in the cargo rack. With the flip of a lever, the anchors expand and lock the bags securely in place. To remove the bags from the rack, a rider simply lifts the levers to unlock the anchors. The Saddle Bags also have removable liners that can be easily carried to and from the sled, already packed.
The 2011 Iron Dog Race
Ten of the 30 Pro teams in the 2011 Iron Dog are on Polaris snowmobiles, as are four Trail teams-including Team 51, the Iron Dog Ambassadors.
The racers will start in Big Lake and ride to Nome, then restart and ride to the finish line in downtown Fairbanks, arriving on Saturday, Feb. 26. The race course covers approximately 2,000 miles.
Trail Class (amateur) teams started racing at 9 a.m. (Alaska time) on Friday, Feb. 18. Pro teams began racing at 11 a.m. (Alaska time) on Sunday, Feb. 20.
Among the Polaris Pro teams is Team 10, defending champs Chris Olds and Tyler Huntington, and Team 30 with Pam Harrington and Elaine Jackson, the first all-woman team in the Pro class. Both women are members of the Alaska National Guard, a major sponsor of the race.
How to Follow the Race & Ambassadors
Every race team, including the Ambassadors (Team 51), has GPS units on their sleds so they can be tracked and, if necessary, located by search teams. Each team's location and progress is available on the race website: www.irondograce.org.
Photos and videos from along the race course are being uploaded to: RideAlaska.com. Click on Iron Dog buttons as directed, or go to the website's "Media" pages.
The Iron Dog teams that have won on Polaris sleds are:
2010: Chris Olds & Tyler Huntington
2009: Todd Minnick & Nick Olstad
2001: Tracey Brassard & Ken Lee
1996: John Faeo & Bob Gilman
1995: Todd Palin & Dwayne Drake
1994: Dan Zipay & Evan Booth
1992: Dan Zipay & Evan Booth
1991: John Faeo & Bob Gilman
1988: John Faeo & Dan Zipay
1987: John Faeo & Dan Zipay
1986: John Faeo & Dan Zipay
1984: John Faeo & Rod Frank