Mike Morgan notches fifth win in Kotzebue
The Arctic Circle Racing Association got lucky in squeezing Kotzebue’s annual Archie Ferguson – Willie Goodwin Sr. snow machine race in between two nasty storms last weekend. Race Director Claude Wilson said it was iffy the night before and just starting to clear up on race day. “We didn’t have too many hiccups,” said Wilson.
Nome represented itself well with Mike Morgan taking the Open Class and Tre West hot on his heels. That makes it a double for Morgan, who won last week’s Nome-Golovin 200. Erik Johnson of Nome won the 600cc class.
“It was really soft,” said Morgan over the phone on Sunday, describing trail conditions. “It wasn’t real fast because we had wind during the race. We had a pretty good, maybe 20 mph wind, pretty much during the whole race and we had a lot of snow. So, that created a sugary condition. More drag on the sled, slows it down a little bit. The trail was as rough as I’ve ever seen it. Once you leave the pass out of Kiana, from the end of the pass all the way to Selawik and back around to Noorvik it was really windblown and choppy.”
Wilson was pleased they’d managed to squeeze the race in between the two storms. “We got lucky on that part again as it was pretty iffy on the night before. The only place we had bad weather was it was pretty snowy and blowy in Selawik. The pass is always a challenge and we had a lot of snow in the pass.”
Morgan rode the same Polaris 850 he won the Nome-Golovin on. It was his 11th running of the Archie and his fifth win. “We just made the weather window, just got the race in,” he said. “Those guys made a good choice to have the race and we made it happen. We had nice weather the whole way.”
Morgan capped off his season with another win. He’ll be visiting Nome for a week to spend time with nephews and the rest of the family and do some snow machining. Then he’ll go to Hawaii for a week. “I’m going to just kind of unwind, decompress.”
He was pleased with the performance of his Polaris, which is a couple of years old, but he races it only in the two big northwestern Alaska races, so it’s low mileage. He’s replaced some parts with 2022 parts. He sold both of his Iron Dog sleds, one to a person in Gambell and one in Nome.
“I’m living the dream and riding the waves,” said Morgan.
On social media the question was asked about how many riders have won the Nome-Golovin, the Archie Ferguson-Willie Goodwin Sr. and the Iron Dog all in the same year. Nome’s Evan Booth did the hat trick in 1994.
Arctic Circle Racing Association
2021 Archie Ferguson/Willie Goodwin Sr. Memorial
Official Prize List
C Class (Open)
1st Mike Morgan 2:42:09, $7,400
2nd Tre West 2:43:19, $4,060
3rd Jim Baldwin 2:45:44, $2,540
Fastes Rookie: Case Sherman 2:45:51 $150
First into Kiana: $200, courtesy of City of Kiana, to Mike Morgan
B Class (600)
1st Erik Johnson 2:47:58, $9,050
2nd Steven Q. Williamson 2:51:35, $5,050
3rd Louis Edenshaw 2:54:43, $3,200
Fastest Rookie: Haiden Williamson 3:02:02 $150
First into Kiana: $200, courtesy of City of Kiana to Erik Johnson
A Class (Fan)
1st Joe Garfield 3:21:40 $5,975
2nd Randy Toshavik 3:23:46 $3,205
3rd Zander Sours-Sheldon 3:32:35 $1,970
Fastest Rookie: Zander Sours-Sheldon $150
First into Kiana: $200, courtesy of City of Kiana to Joe Garfield
Rookie of the Race: Casey Sherman
Overall: $2,500 from ACRA and other entities to Mike Morgan
Overall: $300 from Alaskan Grown Cannabis to Mike Morgan
1st Overall racer to Noorvik - $250 from Wolf Creek Sales and Service to Mike Morgand
1st Overall racer to Selawik - $200 from KCK Store to Mike Morgan
1st Selawik resident to Selawik $100 from KCK Store to be determined