Text by Hannes Larsson. IAWLS member.
In June 2014, at the WL general assembly, Ushuaia Loppet was accepted in Worldloppet as an associated member. That left little time for interested skiers to prepare the travel to the “End of the World”. The news about this race spread and the 2015 edition on August 8 attracted a large number of foreigners: 12 from Finland, 11 from Norway, 6 from Sweden, 5 from Italy, 4 from the Czech Republic, etc. The 42 km race had 95finishers and 21 skiers made the promotional 21 km race. We strongly recommend that Ushuaia Loppet includes in coming years the 21km race as a Silver Master race in the Worldloppet calendar.
We described this race in 2014. It takes place in the Tierra Mayor valley some 20 km from Ushuaia. Transport can be arranged from the hotels. The terrain is very suitable for XC skiing, However, we think that the organizers should consider replacing the new (not present in 2014) difficult winding descent at 17 and 38 km (the 21 km eight-shaped loop is made twice) by a less demanding one. In popular races the descents should be such that no braking is necessary, i.e. good visibility allowing the skiers to enjoy the speed without being afraid of falls and collisions. Ushuaia Loppet is a FT race. Classic tracks were available all along.
The days before the race, conditions in Tierra Mayor were disappointing. The glide was so bad that we had enough after ten km. But on the race day we had a superb glide: after a period of above-zero temperatures it had frozen overnight and the track had an icy crust. Although the snow softened on the second lap, it remained quite acceptable.
On Thursday night the bib pickup took place at a downtown hotel. It was followed by a reception with drinks, welcome speeches and advice. Most participants would probably never have come to Ushuaia but thanks to Ushuaia Loppet they had the occasion to see this remote and historic place. Many of them made a boat trip on the Beagle Channel (named after the ship on which Darwin sailed) and admired a multitude of birds and sea lions as well as the “Les Eclaireurs” lighthouse.
The winner’s (Carlos Lannes, ARG) time was 1:51:55
Some results of IAWLS members:
Lauri Jortikka AUS 3:18:33
Josef Kraal CZE 3:30:24
Ivana Kralova CZE 3:30:25
Eero Leppänen FIN 4:19:28
Marjatta Lehtonen FIN 4:19:41
Hannes Larsson FRA 4:48:41
Preetam Singh India 5:04:45
Corrado Ampezzan ITA 5:05:02
Lino Davarda ITA 2:49:44 (shown in the picture wearing a helmet with the WL flags)
Tom Sutherland USA 2:54:55