We are pleased to announce that Polardistans, the long-established long-distance race for purebred sled dogs, has joined forces with the IFSS and the WSA. Through this unique partnership Long-Distance World Championship titles will be on offer at Polardistans in both purebred as well as all-breed classes.
Polardistans will take place from 2-6 March 2021 in Särna (Sweden) and will kick off the largest sled dog festival ever celebrated in Europe. From 2-14 March 2021, close to 500 purebred and all-breed sled dog teams are expected to compete for World Championship titles in Skidog, Sled Sprint and Mid-Distance and Skidog and Sled Long-Distance classes at three venues (Särna, Ramundberget and Åsarna) in central Sweden.
At Polardistans, in the 300 km race World Championship titles will be available for purebred teams in 1-4 dog pulka as well as 8- and 12-dog sled classes and for all-breed teams in 8- and 12-dog sled classes. The IFSS long-distance race rules supplemented by a number of Polardistans specific rules apply.
No one can predict what will happen during the next months when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. We might face new travel restrictions worldwide and other regulations that will affect how sport events can be organized. Therefore, Polardistans, the WSA and IFSS will make their final decision on whether the 2021 On-Snow World Championships can go ahead by 1 December 2020.
The recent increase of Covid-19 cases across Europe has made it clear that, for us, it’s time to re-calibrate. We all want the WSA Dryland World Championship to offer fair and exciting races at the highest level of our sport. But bringing people together for a race in this particular year is looking increasingly problematic.
The widely varying and constantly-shifting guidelines that each country is putting in place to combat the pandemic make it difficult to create a level playing field for all competitors that we would require for a World Championship.
Whilst no one can accurately predict what will happen in the next few weeks, we, together with the host of this year’s Championship, our French member FFST, have therefore taken the decision to postpone the WSA Dryland World Championship 2020 in Lamotte-Beuvron (France) to the earliest date in the future on which a championship can be held again in a fair and inclusive manor.
A lot of work has already gone into the preparations for the event and we would like to thank the team of the French Federation for all the hard work that they have put into organising our Championship to date. We are as disappointed as they are that force majeure prevents us from going ahead with the event in November but we are convinced that it will be an outstanding event once it can go ahead safely.
The WSA Board
With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the world we all face a new way of living. The pandemic has also had an unforeseen impact on the world of sport including the sled dog sport, forcing us to adapt to the new environment we now all live in.
The Board of the WSA is pleased to announce that the 2021 On-Snow World Championship will be the first joint WSA/IFSS event and is scheduled to take place in Ramundberget and Åsarna (Sweden).
The WSA will organize the championship for all purebred classes Sprint and Mid-Distance in Ramundberget from 10-13 March 2021. The IFSS will organize the all breed Skidog and Sled Sprint and Mid-Distance disciplines in Åsarna from 10-14 March 2021. Ramundberget and Åsarna are located in the same region of Sweden. The travelling time between the two race sites is less than two hours.
The IFSS 2021 On-Snow World Championship was scheduled to take place in North America but due to the organizers withdrawing their bid to host the championship, regrettably, this plan could not be executed.
Looking for a new venue, the IFSS was presented with the opportunity to join forces with the WSA and to trial a joint championship - one part for purebred dogs and one part for all breed dogs.
The WSA has planned the event in Ramundberget since 2018. For the IFSS the decision to use the excellent trails in Åsarna was easy to approve. Åsarna offers first class trails for both Skidog and Sled disciplines. Both Ramundberget and Åsarna are very snow secure areas with early snow coverage, which makes for great trail preparation.
No one can predict what will happen during the next months when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. We might face new travel restrictions worldwide and other regulations that will affect how sport events can be organized. Therefore, the WSA and IFSS will make their final decision on whether the 2021 On-Snow World Championship can go ahead by 1 December 2020.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and we hope to see many of you in November in Lamotte-Beuvron at the WSA Dryland World Championships,
The WSA Board
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the WSA Board has decided to cancel the 2020 WSA General Assembly.
There are currently no important decisions pending. However, proposals and membership applications can be submitted in writing before 1 September 2020. The Board will discuss these and respond with preliminary decisions. Any proposals dealt with in this way will be discussed in full at the 2021 General Assembly. This process will also be followed for applications to host one of our championships.
With regard to the 2020 WSA Dryland World Championship, our French member FFST has applied to host the Championship in Lamotte-Beuvron in France from the 13-15 November 2020. Whether it will be possible to stage the event in 2020 will very much be guided by science and how the pandemic develops across Europe in the coming months. Everyone’s health has to come first! However, for now we are working on staging the Championship and we will keep you informed as more information becomes available.
We wish you and your loved ones a good summer - take care and stay safe!
The WSA Board
We are delighted to announce that our British member AMWA is hosting the WSA Dryland World Championship 2019. The World Championship will take place on 16 - 17th November at the Firle Estate on the south coast of England.
More information will follow in the coming weeks.
Recently, a delegation of WSA (World Sleddog Association) and IFSS (International Federation of Sleddogsports) representatives met in Stockholm to explore the possibility of a closer collaboration between the two leading sled dog sport organisations.
The initial talks quickly showed that both organisations have many shared goals and face similar challenges, It was therefore decided to continue the conversation with a view to present the members of both organisations with a proposal of what a collaboration could look like at their General Assemblies in September 2019 (WSA) and June 2020 (IFSS) respectively.
May 20th, 2019
Arno Steichler, WSA Chairman
Helen Lundberg, IFSS President
We are happy to confirm that the WSA GA will take place on the 7th September in Hotel Prinz Carl in Buchen, Germany. There are currently 19 rooms available at the hotel, which the WSA has blocked until the end of April. So, if you need accommodation please contact Hotel Prinz Carl as soon as possible and mention that you will be attending the WSA GA. Alternatively, there are also rooms available in Hotel Reichsadler and Hotel Am Ringpark.
On the 6th and 7th September, the Buchener Schützenmarkt, one of the largest folk festivals in the region, will take place approx 150m from Hotel Prinz Carl. As nearer the time many visitors of the fair will also be looking to book rooms, it’s advisable to organise your accommodation early. For those who would like to join us, we are planning on visiting the fair on Saturday night.
The formal invitation and the agenda will be circulated nearer the time.
Kind regards, The WSA Board
Suddenly and totally unexpectedly Andreas Kraft from Germany passed away where he was most comfortable - near his partner Daniela Bigalke, his 2- and 4-legged friends. Only a small consolation for this big loss.
As a former World Champion and winner of many other top ranks, Andreas was one of the most successful middle distance athletes in our history. His distinctive character also made him a very special person and personal friend.
Dani and daughter Lina, with a big hug we want to be connected with you!
On behalf of the WSA,
Arno Steichler, Chairman
Here you can find the Results for the 2019 WSA World Championship Snow in Haidmühle/Germany
(21-24 Feb 2019).
Here you can find the Results for the 2018 WSA Dryland World Championship in Samorin/Slovakia
(17-18 Nov 2018).
The minutes of the General Assembly will be published in due course.