The Start of the Yukon Quest 2017 Sled Dog Race

Yesterday was the start of Yukon Quest 2017. It was a long, exciting day, and I’m posting some photos from the hundreds I shot, with few captions. It was a short night and we’ll be off to Skagway and Haines early this morning, so at this point there’s no time, but I’ll fill in more information when I have time.

I took the group over the Shipyards Park early so they got a chance to wander among the teams and rigs, and meet some dogs and mushers if they choose to.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1
This rig belongs to Brian Wilmshurst. Hailing from Dawson City, he’s running his fifth Yukon Quest this year.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1
Hank DeBruin, a 54-year-old Yukon Quest veteran, has come all the way from Haliburton, Ontario, with his gorgeous team of Siberian huskies.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
Race veterinarians seem to be everywhere, checking on the dogs.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
This is the 11th Yukon Quest for Brent Sass (4th from the left) of Eureka, Alaska.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
For those people who are really into mushing, this is a great opportunity to check out new ideas in equipment (like this sled from Dog Paddle Designs), or new ideas about how to use old equipment.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
At 10:15, it was time to go and find a good spot to watch the start. As I generally do, I went to a bit of a curve and hill where the track goes down onto the Yukon River ice.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
Looking back to the start line at 10:25…

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

The bib/starting numbers for the race are:
1 – Jessie Royer
2 – Yuka Honda
3 – Ben Good
4 – Rob Cooke
5 – Sebastien Dos Santos Borges
6 – Jason Campeau
7 – Paige Drobny
8 – Allen Moore
9 – Hugh Neff
10 – Gaetan Pierrard
11 – Laura Neese
12 – Ed Stielstra
13 – Dave Dalton
14 – Brent Sass
15 – Ryne Olson
16 – Brian Wilmshurst
17 – Hank DeBruin
18 – Ed Hopkins
19 – Katherine Keith
20 – Matt Hall
21 – Torsten Kohnert

Mushers start 3 minutes apart. At 11:03, here comes #2, 44-year-old Yuka Honda from Japan, running her third Yukon Quest.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
At 11:06, #3 is Ben Good, a 37-year-old Yukon Quest rookie from North Pole, Alaska.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
This is Sebastien Dos Santos Borges’ leaders – as of Sunday morning at 06:10, he’s at Braeburn Lodge, in 19th place.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
It’s all about the love. Michelle Philips and Ed Hopkins at the Yukon Quest 1000 start. Michelle is now running the Yukon Quest 300, and will meet Ed in Dawson. And my group and I will be there to see both of them 🙂

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
After a leisurely lunch, we all went out to a cabin belonging to a friend of Jeremy’s, overlooking the Takhini River about half an hour hour (by van) west of Whitehorse. This is always a great place to go down onto the river ice to watch the race’s progress, and relax around a big fire with some beer and wine.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
Ryne Olson is always beaming when she’s with her dogs.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
Heather and Vi taking the really easy way back up to the cabin! 🙂

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon
A final look at the wonderful view before we drove back into Whitehorse. We’d finish off the day with dinner at one of the top restaurants in Whitehorse, Antoinette’s.

Yukon Quest 2017 - Day 1, Whitehorse, Yukon


Comments

The Start of the Yukon Quest 2017 Sled Dog Race — 7 Comments

  1. Amazing shots of the race, love the look on the dogs faces of pure joy in being able to race. Thanks for sharing this so we can enjoy the race with you from the warmth of our homes.

    • Thanks, Barb. I hope that by seeing what really goes on – the passion of the dogs, the mushers, and the people such as vets from around the world who volunteer their time, people will be able to sort of the truth from the “alternative facts” that always appear this time of year.

  2. Did all the mushers have on some humorous # tags on their parkas…my eyes just bad enough that I could only make out two of them in this post…”aroma borealis” being one. Must be story behind that.

  3. thanks for clearing that up…my brain was so busy taking in the ‘essence of the day’ that the obvious (sponsorship) just completely skipped by me…

    Now watching the start of the Iditarod and wondering some at the relative size of the two entries fields.

    • It’s the Iditarod that has gained the fame, and the huge sponsorship. It’s also the easier of the two races, so it’s always gotten a much larger field, even back in the days when the Yukon Quest had big sponsors.