Start & Draw Banquet

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The official Start & Draw Banquet for the 34th running of the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race was held this evening in Whitehorse, Yukon. Mushers, dog handlers, race officials, dignitaries, volunteers and fans gathered at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre to take in awards, prizes, sponsor recognition, local entertainment and the drawing of the start order.

After this year’s 21 competitors were marched in by the Canadian Ranger flag procession, official welcome was given by representatives of both the Kwanlin Dün and Ta'an Kwäch'än First Nations, on whose traditional territories the Quest begins. Further welcoming remarks came from Minister of Tourism and Culture, Jeanie Dendys, and Mayor of Whitehorse, Dan Curtis. Over dinner the crowd was treated to Quest-themed songs performed by Yukon musical luminary Hank Karr and players from the long-running Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue.

Taking the stage in the order in which they had registered for the 2017 race, each musher then drew from the official Start Draw bunny boot, most using the opportunity to thank sponsors, family, race officials and volunteers, and always their dogs.

The start order of the 2017 Yukon Quest:

1. Jessie Royer
2. Yuka Honda
3. Ben Good
4. Rob Cooke
5. Sébastien 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