Day 7: In and Out of Dawson

Friday, February 9, 2018

Day 7 of the 2018 Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race began with a mini-mush hour, as a Clinton Creek convoy made their way into Dawson City.

The convoy was led by Claudia Wickert, arriving at 1:08am who got right to it, stating “I feel good. It’s good to be here,” and is looking forward to her 36-hour layover. Back-to-back traffic from Alex Buetow and Bernhard Schuchert at 1:20am and 1:21am respectively was followed by Luc Tweddell closely after, arriving at 1:33am.

Following the tracker, it was a question until they arrived of who would be first into the chute between rookies Riley Dyche and Nathaniel Hamlyn. Arriving just one minute apart, Dyche entered the chute first at 4:24am.

Rob Cooke, who arrived at 8:28am, said his team really hit their stride at the top of American Summit and had a great run and Dave Dalton just after noon, said in these kinds of extreme temperatures the care for his dogs is his main concern. He's looking forward to a hot shower and a cold beer.

Current leader Allen Moore’s team of 14 was howling to hit the trail when they left the Dawson dog yard at 8:30 this morning.

Departing Dawson at 4:21pm, currently in second place, Paige Drobny jokingly admonished the crowd for not knowing Moore’s exact location when she asked if Moore had stopped to camp yet. “Nobody knows? You guys are supposed to be spectators!” she chided. She hit the trail with Sable and Sullivan in lead.

Matt Hall set out for the long 210-mile stretch at 5:11pm followed by Ed Hopkins at 8:30pm. Rookie Vebjorn Aishana Reitan, currently in fifth place, headed out at 10:15 p.m. When asked about strategy he said, "we made a good plan before we started out and I’ve been trying to stick to it." He added the cold weather is helping because his dogs are cold weather dogs. Laura Neese was keeping her plans “top secret” as she pulled out of the Dawson dog yard at 10:36pm.

Severin Cathryn, who was mistakenly thought to have been withdrawn remains a competitor in the race. He arrived into Dawson at 9:48pm with stories on what made this run so difficult. “We had some issues with the sled right after Eagle River,” he said, going on to explain how his team was acting up. He’ll be spending his mandatory 36-hours sleeping and taking care the “doggies.”

Hugh Neff arrived into Dawson shortly after, officially scratching from the race at 10:05pm.

Standings as of 11:59pm:

  1. Allen Moore
  2. Paige Drobny
  3. Matt Hall
  4. Ed Hopkins
  5. Vebjorn Aishana Reitan
  6. Laura Neese
  7. Tim Pappas
  8. Torsten Kohnert
  9. Claudia Wickert
  10. Alex Buetow
  11. Bernhard Schuchert
  12. Luc Tweddell
  13. Riley Dyche
  14. Nathaniel Hamlyn
  15. Rob Cooke
  16. Dave Dalton
  17. Severin Cathry