Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for February 17, 2014

Race was abbreviated, unpredictable

The 2014 Yukon Quest is history.

By freelancer on February 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm

The 2014 Yukon Quest is history.

The final four sled dog teams arrived at Takhini Hot Springs near Whitehorse on Friday, bringing an end to an abbreviated and unpredictable race.

Even the Red Lantern award, given to the last finisher in the race, requires some explanation this year.

The award goes to Jerry Joinson, even though the Fort St. James, British Columbia, musher crossed the finish line about a half-hour before Dawson City’s Brian Wilmshurst.

He was assessed an 8-hour penalty for requiring a replacement sled during the race, pushing him to the end.

Finishers on Friday included eighth-place Haliburton, Ontario, musher Hank DeBruin; ninth-place Fairbanks musher Mandy Nauman, the only woman in the field; 10th-place Wilmshurst and 11th-place Joinson.

Willow-based musher Curt Perano, who hails from New Zealand, was the lone finisher on Thursday, claiming seventh place.

With just 11 mushers completing the race — tied for the lowest number ever — each finisher will receive a portion of the $120,000 purse. Winnings go to the top 15 finishers who cross the finish line.

The Quest started with 18 teams, but four scratches and three withdrawals gradually winnowed the field in the Fairbanks-to-Whitehorse race.

The pace on the Quest this year was usually brisk, due to fast trails and a shortened course.

Poor trail conditions sliced American Summit out of the course, and the race ended at Takhini instead of Whitehorse because of weak ice conditions on the Yukon River. That combination cut about 80 miles out of the 1,000-mile course.

Two Rivers musher Allen Moore led the way, finishing early last Monday morning to claim his second straight championship.

 


By JEFF RICHARDSON
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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