Whitehorse’s Stefan Wackerhagen and his dogs are fast on snow and on dry land.
The champion skijorer won two out of three races at the Dog Powered Sport Association of the Yukon’s Hot Hounds season opener on the Mount McIntyre ski trails Wednesday evening. He won the one-mile bikejor, the two-mile bikejor and placed second in the one-mile canicross behind Adam Robinson.
It was the first event held by the Dog Powered Sport Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) since the snow melted.
Hot Hounds is the summer version of DPSAY’s Twister races, a sled-dog and skijor racing series that takes place during the winter months. In Hot Hounds the competitors trade their skis and sleds for bikes (bikejor) and running shoes (canicross).
In addition to the races, DPSAY held its annual general meeting and followed the races with a barbecue.
“The idea was to put the meeting, the races and barbecue together, so we’d get more people for the meeting,” said Wackerhagen, who is an incoming DPSAY board member.
DPSAY plans to hold three Hot Hounds events over the summer. (Dates and locations to be determined.)
“Maybe we’ll do one in July – I’m not sure about that,” said Wackerhagen. “It’s more attractive towards the end of the summer when it cools down a little bit. Less mosquitoes.”
Wackerhagen won the 30-mile skijor for the second year in a row at the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race in January, setting a new course record in the process.
Included in the AGM was the election of the DPSAY’s executive board, some new, some returning. In addition to Wackerhagen, the new board includes Claudia Wickert, Fabian Schmitz, Valerie Bussieres, Jim Hajash, Jessica Heath, plus Virginia Sarrazin as treasurer and Amil Dupuis-Rossi as secretary.
Since DPSAY operates as a collective, the association decided to abolish the positions of president and vice-president.
It was announced at the meeting that outgoing treasurer Kyla Johnson is leaving DPSAY as she will be leaving the territory to attend veterinarian school in Saskatoon. She was one of the chief organizers of the River Runner race, DPSAY’s premier event of the winter season.
“I think everyone was concerned that Kyla is leaving – she did a lot of work,” said Wackerhagen. “Everybody really likes the races, but it’s hard to get people to commit to the work as well.
“It was good that that many people stepped forward and took over.”
1st Stefan Wackerhagen – 3:40
2nd Valerie Bussieres – 4:00
3rd Cynthia Corriveau – 4:34
4th Amil Dupuis-Rossi – 5:10
5th Rhonda Kotello – 7:42
1st Stefan Wackerhagen – 8:44
2nd Adam Robinson – 10:57
3rd Cynthia Corriveau – n/a
1st Adam Robinson – 6:13
2nd Stefan Wackerhagen – 6:40
3rd Amil Dupuis-Rossi – 6:49
4th Virginia Sarrizin – 7:23
5th Christina Reeves – 13:43
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