Injured sledder crowned King of the Hill at Uphill Challenge

Whitehorse's Steven Boyd went 20 years without a serious snowmobiling injury. That came to an end Saturday.

Whitehorse’s Steven Boyd went 20 years without a serious snowmobiling injury. That came to an end Saturday.

The 27-year-old broke his left leg during the Mount Sima Uphill Challenge, presented by Yukon Yamaha, at the ski hill.

“I’ve been doing it for 20 years and I’ve never had anything that’s held me up for more than a day,” he said.

Boyd went a little too big over a jump and overshot the landing, coming down hard on a flat section. He broke his tibia and had to be medevaced to Vancouver on Sunday where he underwent surgery.

“When I landed my foot came off the running board and my foot hit the ground and soaked up most of the impact,” said Boyd from his hospital bed in Vancouver. “I have a broken tib, but the break is right below the knee and the remaining piece is fairly fractured. So they have to put that back together once the swelling goes down.”

“I’m surprised it would happen to him, he’s one of the more skilled riders in the Yukon, there’s no doubt about that,” said Jason Adams, an organizer with Yukon Yamaha.

“Two years ago we had another guy beak his shoulder, I think, (and) a couple ribs.”

Boyd’s day of uphill racing might have been cut short, but he didn’t leave empty-handed. Following the event Boyd was named King of the Hill.

“I found it amusing a little bit because it’s a voted-on trophy; the guys who put on the event vote on who should get it,” said Boyd. “It’s usually the guy who wins the most classes.”

“I’ve done it quite a few times,” he added of the Uphill Challenge. “It’s the best, it’s probably my favourite event. It brings everyone in town out and we just have a really good time. It’s not super competitive, we just hang out together and race up the mountain.”

An estimated 300 to 400 spectators stopped by the event throughout the day to watch the snowmobilers and snow-bikers race up Dan’s Descent at breakneck speeds.

About 45 riders took part, a little bit more than the last time the event was held two years ago.

“There were eight bikes in the snowbike class, which is huge,” said Adams. “I think we had six two years ago, and the time before that we had two.”

Boyd’s accident took place in the 800cc stock division, in which he took third at the 2012 Challenge. He had already pinned a third place result in the 600cc modified earlier in the day.

“The course this year was awesome,” said Boyd. “The only problem with it was early in the day it was really icy, so we were having a hard time getting enough speed to make all the jumps. But as the day went on and the sun came out, the snow softened up and we were able to get a lot more traction. So I actually went over that jump a lot faster earlier in the day because I was spinning so much, but in the afternoon I went over with sort of the same speed and I got a lot more traction so I went way farther.

“I was so focused on winning I forgot about that part.”

Whitehorse’s Jake Jacobs won four of the nine divisions, including the prestigious open modified and open snowcross divisions. But that’s nothing new. Jacobs was named King of the Hill in 2012 and shared the title with Darryl Tait in 2013.

Jason Vance was another multi-division winner, taking first in the 800cc stock and the 800cc modified races.

Other division winners include Jarrid Davy in 250cc open, Jesse Malloch in the open snowbike and Mark Dubeau in the mountain cross.

“It was a great event and I’m really happy to work with the Friends of Mount Sima up there, they are great people to work with,” said Adams. “Provided they’re into it, we can make this a yearly event and bigger and better than ever before. Eventually I’d like to see it become a two-day event.”

“Thanks to the ski patrol and all the staff and all the paramedics, and especially the guys who put on the event,” said Boyd. “It was a lot of fun and everything went as well as it could have for me.”

Top three results

250cc open

1st Jarrid Davy

2nd Gary Lammers

3rd Mark Van De Mortel

600cc stock

1st Jake Jacobs

2nd Jason Adams

3rd Dylan Wills

600cc mod

1st Jake Jacobs

2nd Colin Boyd

3rd Steven Boyd

800cc stock

1st Jason Vance

2nd Dylan Wills

3rd Jake Jacobs

800cc mod

1st Jason Vance

2nd Ross Mercer

3rd Grady McNaughton

Open snowbike

1st Jesse Malloch

2nd Jason Adams

3rd Jody Shea

Open snowcross

1st Jake Jacobs

2nd Jordan Sands

3rd Joey Chretien

Mountain cross

1st Mark Dubeau

2nd Dylan Wills

3rd Jordan Sands

Open mod

1st Jake Jacobs

2nd Mark Dubeau

3rd Brandon Cormier

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com