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Yukon Quest Wrap-Up

Sled DogHugh Neff finally overcame his Quest jinx as did Yuka Honda: he finally won it, and she finally finished it. It was a good year, as 19 of 23 starters, finished and there were no serious problems with anyone’s dogs.

There was an above average rate of dogs dropped, that can be traced back to the warm weather and a number of young dogs. The dogs were overworking in the ‘heat’ and didn’t recover like they normally would have. Lance Mackey commented on that problem with his team, after he noticed them slowing down. [He blamed himself for spending too much time running in the daylight, instead of the cooler night hours.]

The major award winners were:

Golden Harness – Walter & Juanity [Hugh Neff’s team leaders]
Veterinarian’s Choice – Kristy Berington
Challenge of the North – Michael Telpin
Dawson Award – Allen Moore
Rookie of the Year – Jake Berkowitz
Red Lantern – Michael Telpin

Michael Telpin’s effort is almost like a reenactment of the original techniques and equipment that were used during the Yukon Gold Rush. With a few exceptions, he used the equipment and dogs that would have been in daily use back then, and are still in use by the Arctic peoples. He started and finished with 9 dogs, and with the race nearly over, he finally let them run like they could, which is why he finished so closely behind Marcelle. He had been holding his team back because of the heat, and the lack of familiarity moving through trees.

I would note that when it was colder, early in the race, he was moving much faster, than after it warmed up.

Final Standings: [Read more →]

February 20, 2012   2 Comments