Malcolm Chartier, the defending Eagle River Derby world champ, defended his title by leading every lap of a quick and exciting Amsoil Eagle River World Championship final, running smooth lines and using a fast and perfect-handling Ski-Doo-based Champ 440 sled to become the eighth back-to-back winner in the event’s 51 year history.
One of those back-to-backers was Chartier’s sled builder, the legendary Mike Houle. Chartier said hanging out with Houle has allowed him to understand better what it means to be a multi-time champ.
“The last couple of years, being around Mike I see the respect he gets from people for his accomplishments, and I see the way people come up to him,” Chartier said. “I’m not saying I’m on his level – he won so many classes for so long here – but it has helped me understand what this means.”
Fellow Ski-Doo drivers Matt Schulz and the Travis MacDonald finished second and third, leading to a Ski-Doo podium sweep. The three drivers have notably different sleds, but all three get their engines built by Winnipeg-based Darcy Rosentreter.
“We did our homework,” Chartier said of his team. “We did it last year and we just tried to replicate what we did then.”
He called sled builder Mike Houle “a great mentor – he’s guided me the right way and showed me how to handle pressure.”
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