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Heating up the Bravos

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The sport of snowmobile racing is often one of split seconds when it comes to which racer leaves the track carrying the checkered flag of victory.

Pierre Ikakhik had to put his hopes of a fatherandson championship on hold for another year when he lost the final of the Senior Division by mere seconds to Desmond Ukutak, during the third annual Noah Muckpah Memorial Bravo Drag Race in Arviat this past month.

Ikakhik's son, Manuel Ukutak, claimed the checkered flag in the Junior Division, followed by Johnny Jr. Kaviok and Joey Komakjuak.

Hannah Muckpah claimed the OldTimer Division title, followed by Nick Arnaludjuak and Paul Kattau.

Jordon St. John placed third in the Senior Division.

Ikakhik, known as the Blue Bomber when on the track, said this was the first year the drag race was expanded to three divisions.

He said the previous two Noah Muckpah Memorial's featured only 50-and-older racers.

"We wanted to try to make the event a little bigger, so we decided to add the senior and junior divisions and see what happens," said Ikakhik.

"We had about 20 racers in total take part.

"Most of the heats in all three divisions were pretty close this year.

"The Bravos are getting faster now, so that makes it a lot more fun for the drivers and a lot more exciting for the fans."

Ikakhik said he's a little disappointed at having come so close to winning his division.

He said he lost by inches to Ukutak in the final, who happens to be Ikakhik's brother-in-law.

"If I had to lose, though, it was OK to lose to Desmond because he helps me a lot with my snowmobile.

"We work with each other a lot."

Ikakhik said organizers plan to keep the three divisions again next year.

He said championship trophies will be ordered for the junior and senior divisions before the 2013 event.

"We only had the one big championship trophy for old-timers the first three years, but we'll make sure we have one for each division next year.

"We're going to work hard to make it bigger and more popular with racers and the fans.

"We had pretty good crowds for the races this year. Hopefully, we can build upon that for next year."

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