Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

DOGS IN CHARGE – (Left) Armin Johnson mushes his team out the start chute of DPSAY’s first Twister race of the season Sunday morning. Johnson finished third overall in a time of 36:58;.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Erin Stevens, who finished 10th in the 15-team race, mushes her team near the finish of the 10-mile race.

DPSAY hosts first Twister race of the season

The Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) held their first event of the racing season Sunday morning with a turnout of 15 competitors in the main 10-mile race.

By Dustin Cook on December 5, 2017

The Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) held their first event of the racing season Sunday morning with a turnout of 15 competitors in the main 10-mile race.

Fourteen of the competitors mushed the course with sleds of six to eight racing dogs, while Adam Robinson – vice president of the association – was the lone skijor competitor.

The Twister race, the first of four scheduled, was held on the Copper Haul Road trails, but a week later than was previously scheduled due to not enough snow and potentially hazardous conditions on the end of November date.

It was a family affair at the season’s first race with two sets of families participating.

Husband and wife pair, Armin and Mandy Johnson, both participated in the race with Mandy taking the win not only against her husband but against the entire field in a time of 34:00.

Armin Johnson finished not far behind in third place in a time of 36:58.

They were separated by Marine Gastard who placed second in a time of 36:47.

In the other family-friendly competition, father Luc Tweddell raced with his two twin daughters Lori and Louve Tweddell who represented the Yukon in dog mushing in the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.

Luc Tweddell is also currently signed up to race in the 2018 Yukon Quest which he has raced twice previously.

He placed 12th in 2016 and 14th overall in 2009 in his debut.

In his Yukon Quest bio, Tweddell said this upcoming race is the last year he can run it before his daughters are old enough to compete and take his dogs to run it themselves.

But he was able to hold them off in the first Twister race and even though it was a staggered start with all three family members starting spread out, they finished in consecutive order from fifth to seventh place.

Luc finishined in fifth in a time of 43:52 with daughter Lori next a few minutes back in 48:50. Louve finished just 25 seconds back of her sister in seventh spot.

The event also held a recreational race for those just getting involved in the sport and wanting to give it a shot with a five-kilometre race.

There was also a kid’s dash for the young ones.

The association is scheduled to hold their next event in the Twister Race Series Dec. 17 along with a gear swap and their next two in the series in the new year.

They also have a mid-distance race titled The Granger Grind scheduled for Feb. 24-25.

But first DPSAY will host a winter survival skills workshop this Saturday at Fox Lake to teach the necessary skills and tools to survive alone with a team of dogs in a remote area if stranded and have to survive a day or longer.

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