Whitehorse Daily Star

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HIGH WATER – Breaking Wind, a voyageur canoe from Great Britain, competes in the Yukon River Quest on June 26 2019.

Yukon River Quest issues updated paddler advisory

The below message was sent to racers this morning:

By Whitehorse Star on June 16, 2022

The Yukon River Quest has issued an updated paddler advisory.

The below message was sent to racers this morning:

It is important that you clearly understand local conditions on the Yukon River and what that means should you choose to race this year.

· Flow levels are very high. This, along with the amount of debris, means that paddling conditions will be challenging

· Paddling from where the Teslin enters the Yukon River to Carmacks will be especially challenging; checkpoints are every 50-70 km and it will be difficult, if not impossible in some areas, to find places to pull off the water between checkpoints. If you planned to stop between checkpoints for bathroom breaks, for example, that may not be possible.

· We are particularly concerned with solo paddlers and strongly recommend buddying up with other teams during the race. We can help you find paddling buddies if necessary. This is especially important the first night when you travel past the Teslin River.

· Little Salmon checkpoint, around 250 paddling kms from Whitehorse, is the first checkpoint with road access where your support crew could pick you up. Remote checkpoints will not carry you out of the bush except in emergency situations (e.g., heart attacks, serious injury, etc)

· If you do not have strong paddling skills, wilderness experience and the ability to be completely self-sufficient for at least 24 hours, you should seriously reconsider paddling this year.

· There have been requests for deferrals and refunds. We appreciate this is a concern but do not want it to be a factor in your decision making. The board will discuss this after the race and will share their decision then.

While the race provides checkpoints with power boats, and tracks of each team, this does not guarantee that your team can be quickly reached in the event of an emergency. This is a wilderness event. Your own skills and experience are key, particularly this year.

Stephen Mooney, Race Marshall and Deb Bartlette, President and Assistant Race Marshall

The Star will have an interview regarding the race situation with Deb Bartlette in tomorrow's paper.

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