This is a message from the board of the Yukon River Quest on Facebook dated Saturday. The content has been edited due to space considerations.
“The board has been receiving questions from both racers and the public regarding conditions for this year’s race. We wish to respond to those.
“The most important thing for everyone to understand is that while we hope the race will run, we continue to gather data and monitor conditions along the race route. The board met on Friday, June 17 to review conditions as of that
day. The board has additional meetings scheduled to do the same prior to race day. The board makes the go/no-go decision based on the latest information and conditions.
“You cancelled last year, why not this year?
“While water flows are a very important factor, they are not the only factor in our decision-making. Last year, we were
not as prepared, on a number of fronts, to deal with high water levels. In the last year, the board has put a considerable effort into working with a highly qualified wilderness risk assessment specialist. As such, we are in a much better position to work with high water. As just one example, there will be docks at Minto Resort this year. As of right now, Coal Mine is feasible, based on current predictions and the situation there. We are continuing to monitor.
“Should you be going to communities like Carmacks right now?
“We have been in direct contact with officials for the Village of Carmacks, Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, and Selkirk First Nation Development Corporation for Minto Resort. They are in support of the race coming. This is an important factor for us.
“But doesn’t EMO say it is dangerous to be on the water?
“EMO’s mandate, and one they fulfill very well, is to communicate risks to the general public. The skilled paddling population is quite different. There are many who have the skills to paddle in conditions even more challenging than what we are experiencing. This is why it is important that racers understand the conditions they will likely encounter, including what it means to paddle a northern wilderness river. This is why we will continue communicating with racers about conditions.
“Thank you – Deb Bartlette, president and assistant race marshall, on behalf of the board.”