Rob Cooke, pictured here at his kennel in January 2019, placed 12th in the 2020 Copper Basin 300. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Nicolas Petit wins Copper Basin 300

Rob Cooke was the lone Yukoner to finish, placing 12th

The Copper Basin 300 wrapped up on Jan. 14 as the last musher crossed the finish line in Glenallen, Alaska.

Nicolas Petit won his third-straight Copper Basin finishing the 290-mile (465-kilometre) race in two days, three hours and 49 minutes. Brent Sass, the 2019 Yukon Quest winner, finished second in the race with a time of two days, four hours and four minutes, followed by Ryne Olson in third, Aliy Zirkle in fourth and Matthew Failor in fifth.

For his win, Petit earned US$7,000, with Sass taking home US$5,000, Olson winning US$4,000, Zirkle winning US$2,500 and Failor winning $1,500.

Mount Lorne’s Rob Cooke finished 12th in the race with a time of two days, 22 hours and 23 minutes.

Like Whitehorse, the Glenallen area is also experiencing a cold snap and temperatures dipped close to -50 C during the race, and an initial field of 27 mushers was pared down to just 14 finishers by the end of the race.

Among the mushers who scratched were a large number of Yukoners, including Fabian Schmitz, Jason Biasetti, Kyla Boivin, Lori Twedell, Louve Twedell, Madeline Rubida, Magnus Kaltenborn and Michelle Phillips.

The race itself was run in reverse this year, with mushers starting in Glenallen before travelling 75 miles (120 km) to the first checkpoint at Lake Louise, Alaska. From there, mushers continued 55 miles (90 km) to Sourdough, Alaska, before continuing 40 miles (65 km) to Meiers Lake, Alaska, and another 68 miles (110 km) to the final checkpoint in Chistochina, Alaska. From Chistochina, teams had another 50 miles (80 km) to the finish in Glenallen.

In addition to prizes for the top finishers, a number of other people were recognized with awards following the race.

Julie Signers won the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award, while Matthew Failor won the Vet Care Award, Mille Porsild won the Rookie of the Year Award and Christopher Parker won the Red Lantern Award as the final musher to finish.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshll@yukon-news.com

2020 Copper Basin 300 results

1 Nicolas Petit
2 Brent Sass
3 Ryne Olson
4 Aliy Zirkle
5 Matthew Failor
6 Kalyn hall
7 Mille Porsild
8 Matt Paveglio
9 Chad Stoddard
10 KattiJo Deeter
11 Susannah Tuminelli
12 Rob Cooke
13 Misha Wiljes
14 Christopher Parker

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