A pack of racing sled dogs speeds down the hill by command of their master. Suddenly, the driver shouts a few words and the dogs skid to a stop. The sled turns a sharp angle, kicking up puffs of snow and slides a quarter circle to a stop right in front of me. Awesome. My rally racer, or dog sled driver, has arrived.
THE RALLY RACER
29 year-old ‘Fari’Frederik Mathiassen actually does race, I soon find out. A fresh-faced freckled young man, he talks with a twinkle in his eye. Strands of ginger-toned hair peep out of his blue beanie, which he sets with racer style sunglasses upon his head. His look is completed with a well-worn grey anorak and polar bear fur overalls.
He tells me that the dogs are a bit tired because they joined a 33-kilometre dog sled race over the weekend, a qualification round to the national championships held in North Greenland.
“We came tenth,” he shrugs, suggesting better luck next time.
POLAR BEAR PANTS
Fari’s fur overalls fit the snowy landscape. He bought them second-hand for only 2000 kroner, but one can pay up to 12,000 kroner for a new pair, he tells me. They are surprisingly warm and insulating for being so thin.
Growing up in the Ilulissat region, Fari was brought up around dogs since a very early age, and was given his first four adult dogs to raise when he was seven years old. He began to drive by himself at that age, too.
“The dogs were just outside our house where we lived. At that time dogs were allowed in the city, but now they have been moved out of the town.”