After having to be postponed for a week due to poor trail conditions, the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) is ready to mush in their first Twister race of the season Sunday morning.
“Lots of snow on Sunday gave us just enough,” DPSAY vice-president Adam Robinson said.
Originally scheduled to be held Nov. 25, Robinson said the Cooper Haul Road trail conditions would have been OK for the dogs but there wasn’t enough snow to put a snow hook in which would have been unsafe, especially for the high number of teams they are expecting.
But the first race of the season is a go this Sunday with three race divisions.
The first race is the main 10-mile race for the experienced and competitive mushers where the teams will have six to eight dogs. Each category is also open to skijors with the full 10-mile race having two to four dogs.
Robinson said the numbers vary year to year but they are expecting about eight sleds in the main race and two to three skijors.
There will also be a recreational five-kilometre race for those new to mushing and interested in trying it out, which Robinson said he expects to see at this first race.
“We’re always looking forward to getting new people out,” he said. “We’ve tapped out of people who run dogs seriously, there’s nobody new really coming in.”
This is a chance for people who have one or two sled dogs to test the waters and meet people involved with the sport.
Fat bikes, kick sleds and runners are also allowed in the recreational race set for 12 p.m.
Lastly, there will be a Kid’s Dash for fun and DPSAY will help organize a dog and sled for the race if participants don’t have their own.
This weekend’s race is the first of four in the Twister Race Series and Robinson said the Copper Haul Road trails are usually the first stop because it is at higher elevation and generally has more snow earlier in the season allowing for better racing conditions.
Robinson said it is generally an easier, flat course as well and allows for easier passing – perfect for the first test of the season as mushers and dogs get back on the trails for the first time.