The Q&A´s about QPAWS


Since our launch of the Qrill Pet Arctic World Series, we have received many questions, comments and feedbacks from the dog mushing community and audience. We highly appreciate them all, and it makes us shape QPAWS for the future. To sum up the topics, we have made an overall Q&A for you.

What is QPAWS?

QPAWS is the Qrill Pet Arctic World Series in long distance sled dog racing!

 QPAWS will enable dog fans to see the world’s best sled dogs and their mushers in action around the world--during races, and the rest of the year leading up to each race season.

Our programming from the most extreme environments and unique locales will be broadcasted on international TV. Up-to-the-minute updates, commentary and background information will also be available at online portal—while the World Series will have dog mushers competing with their dogs to win the QPAWS Championship and Dog Care Award.

Basically, QPAWS is to be to the world of long-distance dogsledding what Formula 1 is to car racing, ATP is to Tennis, PGA Tour is to golf and Triple Crown is to thoroughbred horse racing!

What sled dog races are part of this World Series?

Long-distance sled dog races is the focus of QPAWS – broadly speaking that is races that are longer than 150 miles or some 240 km.

Our first season in 2020 will involve four sled dog races: 2020 Beargrease, Volga Quest, Femundsløpet and Iditarod, taking place in Russia, Norway and USA in the states of Minnesota and Alaska.

New races will continue to be added to the World Series in 2021 and the future!

I have a dog—what in QPAWS for me!?

Have fun, learn and get inspired!

Top-notch dog welfare, training, and nutrition is the only way to succeed in this sport, and what we can all learn from these super athletes. We believe that how they are cared for can be of great inspiration to all dog-owners around the world. QPAWS is more than competition and the world series itself; we will not just be covering the races but follow the athletes – the dogs and their mushers – all year round. Using innovative digital tools, every part of the sport and lifestyle will be accessible to you!

How do I watch QPAWS on TV?

What TV channels will show QPAWS is still to be determined! We are discussing long-term partnership with strategic broadcasters for Europe and in North America for this coming season. More information will be available soon, so stay tuned!

What does QPAWS have to do with dog care?

Races that make up the World Series are recognized for their strict regulations and excellent dog care, not only during the race, but also through extensive programs of pre-race veterinary care.  QPAWS will also reward mushers who demonstrate the world’s best dog care during these races and beyond. By showcasing best practices for millions in our audience, dog welfare will be put high on the agenda not just within the sport, but also for dog owners around the world—as well as the pet industry. 

How is the QPAWS Championship determined?

2020 QPAWS Champion is the racer that earns the most total points in maximum two races out of the four that make up the world Series in 2020. For more on the point system, read here.

Who can participate in this World Series?

All mushers that enter any of the races that make up the World Series, are automatically part of the World Series!

There is no additional cost or any sort of registration necessary.

What’s the benefit to mushers for taking part in the World Series?

Besides that the World Series is a competition with opportunity to win funds and prestige, QPAWS will benefit the mushers directly through stipends, seminars and assistance in for example traveling nationally and internationally. Indirectly, it will support the mushers by bringing more attention to their sport, building a larger geo- and demographic audience – and thus generate more opportunity for sponsorship; as well as through better-funded races and larger purses in the races that part-take in the series by way of the funds that come in as a result of broadcasting by global networks.

Who backs this World Series?

The principal sponsor of the World Series is Qrill Pet.  An innovative research company that provide krill to the pet food industry as a healthy and beneficial ingredient in dog food, Qrill Pet is owned by AKER Biomarine which in turn is the founding funder of the Qrill Pet Arctic World Series!

Will more racing events be included in the future?

A big yes. We want to include all long-distance dog mushing events into QPAWS!

Will QPAWS change the races involved in the World Series?

No, the mission with QPAWS is to maintain the tradition and culture of the sport overall and the racing events individually that are taking part in the World Series—but indeed, at the same time, introduce elements that can drive the sport forward and make it more visible to the public! As well as generate support, partnerships and funding opportunities that benefit and help build up the racing events, not least their purses and the resources and support available to dog mushers and thereby the real super-stars: the sled dogs!

Can not so well-funded dog mushers become QPAWS Champion?

Yes! This first year, in 2020, the World Series involved four races around the world in USA, Russia and Norway and it would be very costly for mushers to turn up to participate in many of these races at this point. So to level the playing-field – making sure that whether or not a musher is backed by significant funding and sponsorships he or she has equal chance in getting the points to win – at least this first season, only the highest score from two races count in the total tally to find the winner.

If the musher is in Europe or Russia that means they could race in the two races on the Eurasian continent (in Russia and Norway) to win, and if in North America they could race in Minnesota and Alaska to possibly win.

 It is a indeed a goal of QPAWS to enable and make it very feasible for mushers to travel to races nationally and internationally, through initiatives such as stipends and making transportation more feasible through partnerships with the industry leaders in transport of dogs!

How did QPAWS come to be?

QPAWS is a result of the investment each event and each musher has done for the sport over several decades.

The founding funder and driving force of the World Series is Aker Biomarine. Aker Biomaarine is a biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company, dedicated to improving human and planetary health. The company and its Qrill Pet brand has invested in the sport of long-distance dogsledding over many years, getting to know the sport, events and mushers.

Through collaboration with the dog mushers Thomas Wærner and Joar Leifseth Ulsom they have particularly focused on how to improve performance and endurance through new innovative diet and supplements. In this process, true admiration and passion for the sport and its players – more than anything, the super athletes, the dogs came to be. And with that the idea of this World Series, lifting the sport with an overall worldwide competition and coverage of races around the circumpolar Arctic with a new TV platform and distribution. The investment from Aker Biomarine goes into the infrastructure of TV production and visualization of the sport in general, using the best and most innovative software and tracking tools for a digital visualization of the dogs running in the arctic landscape!

What is the ‘paw rating system’ for the QPAWS races?

All races in the World Series are assigned a paw-status based on the race course, distance and competition. The number of paws assigned to a race, determines the amount of points available for mushers and their teams to earn in the race. For 2020, three of the four races in the World Series: Femundløpet, Volga Quest and Beargrease have been assigned to be 4-paw races, while the finale: Iditarod is a 5-paw race.

How can I support QPAWS?

Be a fan!

As we build the platform: watch the World Series on TV and follow and like us online!

If you are a corporation or company that would like to get behind this ground-breaking endeavour to support the sport of dogsledding, the dogs and mushers—please contact QPAWS Project Manager, Nils Marius Otterstad ((+47) 95745754).

What’s the price money involved in the World Series? 

Well – that’s not been revealed yet… so stay tuned for that news flash!!

Who are the past QPAWS winners?

None, yet. 2020 will be the first season of the Qrill Pet Arctic World Series. First race is Beargrease starting January 26th; the finale is Iditarod starting March 7 with a finish likely in the days of March 16-17… Then we will know who our first QPAWS Champion is!!!