Marcin Gienieczko smiles as he approaches the finish of the 2018 Yukon River Quest on June 30, 2018. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Record field to start Yukon River Quest

A total of 118 teams are heading to Dawson in a race for a combined $53,632 in prize money

The 21st annual Yukon River Quest kicks off at noon in Whitehorse on June 26 with a record field of 118 teams.

Nearly 300 paddlers from 13 countries and nine Canadian provinces and territories total will take part in the race down the Yukon River to Dawson City.

With just two mandatory stops — a combined 10 hours of time off the water — the 715-kilometre journey is one of the most difficult races of its kind.

This year’s possible race purse is $53,632 and the new prize structure means the top three male, female and mixed teams in each class will win a prize, provided the team beat at least one other team in the same class and finished within 25 per cent of the class winner.

Prize money is also awarded to the top 10 overall teams, any teams that break class records, the top First Nations team, the top Yukon male, female and mixed teams, the top senior team and the top young adult team.

“It is quite exciting,” said race president Peter Coates in a press release. “We have never had a field this big. We have real competition in depth in almost every class.”

This year’s field includes 40 tandem canoe teams (C2), 16 tandem kayak teams, 40 solo paddlers, 13 voyageur canoe teams, nine four-person canoe teams (C4) and 10 stand-up paddleboarders (SUP).

“The voyageurs, C4s and C2s look very competitive, as do the SUPs and the kayaks too,” said Coates. “But I think the race between the top three voyageurs and the leaders in the C4s and C2s will be what I’ll be especially watching.”

From the race start at Rotary Park in Whitehorse, teams paddle along Lake Laberge, on to Carmacks for the first mandatory stop, through the Five Finger Rapid and past Fort Selkirk to the next rest stop at Coffee Creek. From Coffee Creek, teams have another 170 km to the finish.

Race leaders are expected to arrive in Dawson the afternoon of June 28 and boats will continue to finish until just after 11 p.m. on June 29.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read