The inaugural Dagoo 340, a brand new sled dog race which runs from Eagle Plains to Old Crow and back again, finished early Tuesday morning, when Carcross musher William Kleedehn crossed the line at Eagle Plains Lodge at 5:15 a.m.
Saskatchewan musher Salomon Carrier was second to finish, four and a half hours later.
According to officials, both teams completed the final 170-kilometre push from the halfway checkpoint in 10 hours.
“It was an unqualified success all around,” said organizer Daryl Sheepway from Old Crow.
“Everything was great, the mushers said it was the best trail they’ve run all year.”
Kleedehn, Carrier and Whitehorse Musher Kyla Boivin set out from Eagle Plains on Thursday, March 22, and all three arrived in Old Crow on Saturday evening.
According to organizers, all three reported passing through a herd of Porcupine caribou that numbered in the thousands.
“Kleedehn says that he has never seen anything like that in his life before,” Sheepway wrote on the race blog.
David Lord and Vicky Josie joined the mushers in Old Crow on Sunday, for the return portion of the race. Spectators watched from the banks of the Porcupine River as the five teams left Old Crow, headed back to Eagle Plains.
Lord’s team crossed the finish line just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, just in time for the finish banquet.
Kyla Boivin was fourth to complete the race, arriving at Eagle Plains just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Kleedehn’s first place finish earned him $2,500, and all finishers get a share in the $7, 500 purse.
Sheepway said plans are already underway for next year’s race.
“Everyone that raced and volunteered have already committed to next year’s race.”
He added that experienced racers like Kleedehn think the race has potential for wide appeal.
“Kleedehn said the trail from Eagle Plains to Old Crow is perfect for rookies and veteran mushers – there are lots of cabins along the trail, perfect for checkpoints,” added Sheepway.
Fifth and final musher Vicky Josie was still on the trail at press time.
Playoff results (Wednesday):
Performance Centre Turbos 9
Rob Millar led the Turbos with four goals, as they pummeled Kilrich in opening round playoff action. Blaine Demchuk added two more goals, and Jerry Wald Mark Pike and Glen Heinbigner added singles. Heinbigner also recorded four assists.
Kilrich’s scorers was Harvey Jessup.
Klondyke Dental Molars 5
Firth Rangers 2
Despite the valiant effort made by the Rangers and veteran sniper Aubyn Coad, and a last second goal line save made by the Molars’ goalie that was the centre of controversy (which in the end was all for naught), Klondyke won the playoff match between the two hockey juggernauts handily.
The scorers for KDM were Jordan Borgford with two goals and two assists, Laurie Malo with a goal and two assists and Chris McNutt and Bryan Alp with singles.
Scoring for the Rangers were Aubyn Coad and Dave Borud.
Whitehorse Mustangs 7
Boston Pizza/Yukon Rad 7
Mike Young led the offensive effort for BP in this high-scoring draw, setting up five goals and netting one himself. Barry Blisner scored twice and Trevor Twardochleb, Bryan Gurial, Lance Brown and Ed Peart added a goal each.
The Mustangs’ Kevin Pike and Ted Stephens both scored a pair, and Kaleb Dawe, Daniel Cletheroe and Colin Dendys scored as well.
Yukon Appliance Blues 5
Cinderwood Canucks 5
Thom Minard led the Blues with two goals, and Curtis Goodman, Spencer Tomlin and Cary Goodman all added singles. Joe Martin had three assists.
Martin Lawrie scored twice to lead the Canucks, and Mark King, Ian Kuster, and Joey Mason found the net as well, keeping the score even to the end.
The Yukon Snowboard Championships will be held this weekend at Mt. Sima in Whitehorse. The competition is open to all athletes ages 10 and up.
Slope Style competition – Saturday, March 31st, 1 p.m.
Half Pipe Jam – Sunday, April 1st, 1 p.m.
Registration is at Mt. Sima at 10 a.m. both days. Helmets are mandatory and all participants under 18 years of age must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. There will be multiple age categories with prizes and medals awarded for all events and categories.
Prior to the events, both Saturday and Sunday, Yukon snowboard coaches and CWG team riders will be holding clinics to teach freestyle riding skills beginning at 10 a.m.
All event details are available at www.snowboardyukon.com.