Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 16, 2014

Willomitzer nabs third at Copper Basin 300

Shallow Bay, Yukon musher Gerry Willomitzer earned himself a third-place finish at the Copper Basin 300 race Monday.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm

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Photo submitted

TOP YUKONER – Whitehorse musher Gerry Willomitzer, pictured in last year’s Iditarod, finished third in the Alaskabased Copper Basin 300 race Monday. Photo courtesy SEBASTIAN SCHNUELLE

Shallow Bay, Yukon musher Gerry Willomitzer earned himself a third-place finish at the Copper Basin 300 race Monday.

The 44-year-old musher was the third musher to cross the finish line in Glennallen, Alaska, one hour and 18 minutes off the pace of race winner Allen Moore of Two Rivers, Alaska, who is also the Yukon Quest’s defending champion.

Girdwood, Alaska musher Nicolas Petit finished second, seven minutes behind Moore. Moore has won five of the past nine Copper Basin races.

Willomitzer held off rivals Ben Harper and Travis Beals to claim third, and snag 20 per cent of the total race purse valued at $10,000-plus. This year’s race marked 25 years for the Copper Basin race.

Last year, Willomitzer placed second to Moore, while Petit finished third. The Yukon musher has participated in multiple Quests and Iditarod races, and is expected to compete in the famous Alaskan distance race again this March.

Dawson City musher Brian Wilmshurst was 16th out of 28 mushers to cross the finish line.

The 300-mile Copper Basin race is a qualifier for the Quest and Iditarod, and a favourite for many mushers. This year’s race was started by 43 mushers, including seven Yukoners.

Aside from finishers Willomitzer and Wilmshurst, other mushers from the territory included Hans Gatt (Whitehorse), Jean-Denis Britten (Dawson City), Maren Bradley (Carcross), and Ed Hopkins and Michelle Phillips (Tagish).

The race began Saturday in Glennallen and ran a circle loop across 483-km of wilderness before wrapping up back in the town Tuesday.

Reports indicated that open water posed difficulties with many mushers near the start of the race, causing many mushers – including four-time Quest champion Gatt – to scratch.

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