Half of the remaining mushers of the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race took to the trail today on their quest to Eagle after their mandatory 36-hour stay in Dawson City.
A full day of departures from Dawson City saw Ryne Olson leaving at 01:09 PST and Brian Wilmshurst at 05:01 PST. Rob Cooke and Jessie Royer left closely together at 09:30 PST and 09:52 PST respectively. Next to leave Dawson was Dave Dalton at 10:36 PST, Gaetan Pierrard at 12:18 PST, Sébastien Dos Santos Borges at 15:01 PST, and Ben Good at 15:39 PST.
There was a hub of activity at Clinton Creek as they welcomed eight mushers in search of a place to rest their team, some good company, warm homemade food and a warm spot for sleeping. Clinton Creek hosted Olson and Wilmshurst before they carried on towards Eagle. Cooke remains resting there while Royer and Dalton hit the trail again. Joining Cooke, Pierrard, Dos Santos Borges and Good all opted to rest for a while before getting back out on the trail.
The community of Eagle rallied together to get the checkpoint set up in anticipation of the first mushers to take their 4-hour mandatory rest. Brent Sass was the first to arrive at 05:00 AKST, opting to take an hour and 35 minutes more than the mandatory stay to rest his team before heading back out at 10:35 AKST. Hugh Neff found his way in at 08:23 AKST who also took just over five hours of rest before his team led him out at 13:12 AKST.
Matt Hall, who grew up in Eagle, arrived at 10:09 AKST to a homecoming where many of the community came out to see him in. Hall completed his mandatory 4-hours, including catching up with his parents and friends before moving on towards Circle at 14:25 AKST. Allen Moore came in under an hour behind Hall commenting on wind on the summit and further reflecting “but there’s always wind on the summit”. Moore hit the trail again at 15:55 AKST. Ed Hopkins arrived at 12:12 AKST and stayed just under five hours before moving on. Paige Drobny and Katherine Keith who had been travelling closely together since Dawson City both arrived near the end of the day at 22:02 AKST and 22:44 AKST respectively.
Torsten Kohnert was steadily travelling towards Eagle throughout the day, closing in around 30 miles by day-end.
The musher count is down to 17 as Yuka Honda made the decision to scratch today at 12:27 PST. Her decision was made for the well-being of her dogs.
Hank DeBruin is still serving his mandatory 36-hours in Dawson City with a departure time of 11:48 PST tomorrow.
Standings as of 11:59PM:
1. Brent Sass
2. Hugh Neff
3. Matt Hall
4. Allen Moore
5. Ed Hopkins
6. Paige Drobny
7. Katherine Keith
8. Torsten Kohnert
9. Ryne Olson
10. Brian Wilmshurst
11. Jessie Royer
12. Dave Dalton
13. Rob Cooke
14. Gaetan Pierrard
15. Ben Good
16. Sébastien Dos Santos Borges
17. Hank DeBruin