Morham on top at Autumn Classic

The competitive paddling season closed out with a small race on Saturday. Only three boats were in the water for the seventh annual Autumn Classic, the final race on the calendar for the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club.

The competitive paddling season closed out with a small race on Saturday.

Only three boats were in the water for the seventh annual Autumn Classic, the final race on the calendar for the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club.

Whitehorse’s Alison Morham took first in the 11-kilometre race on the M’Clintock River starting and ending at the Alaska Highway.

Morham, who was the only solo kayaker in the race, finished in one hour, 14 minutes and 16 seconds, beating out two tandem canoes. It was her first win in the Autumn Classic.

“It was a lot of fun just to be out on the water – maybe for the last time in the year,” said Morham. “It was really fun to be out there, knowing I’m out there with some friends, just having a fun race.”

Taking second were Pam and Jim Boyde at 1:18:25, ahead of Peter Coates and Pat McKenna at 1:24:25.

“A little bit of it is the speed of the boat and the desire to get back,” said Morham.

The Autumn Classic has seen shrinking numbers over the last few years. There were five boats last year and eight boats in 2010.

Saturday’s race was Morham’s first since her record-setting performance in this year’s Yukon River Quest.

Morham and Whitehorse’s Martha Taylor took first and set a new record for the women’s tandem kayak division at this year’s Quest race, a 715-kilometre canoe and kayak race from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

Taylor and Morham finished with a time of 47 hours, four minutes and 44 seconds, surpassing the previous division record by more than four and a half hours.

Morham also finished third in women’s solo kayak division in 2011 and 2010 River Quests.

The Boydes placed second in the mixed tandem canoe division in this year’s Yukon River Quest.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com