After taking last season off from racing, Katherine Sheepway is two-for-two this season.
The skijorer from Stardog Kennel had the fastest time at the second Yukon Brewing Twister hosted by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon at the Takhini Hot Springs on Saturday.
That’s fastest overall, ahead of sled dog teams and the other skijorers.
“The trail was beautifully groomed and really well marked, but with the (plus-zero) temperatures the conditions were treacherous and icy in some spots and soft and punchy in other spaces,” said Sheepway. “I know my dogs could have gone a little bit faster if the conditions were better, but everyone had the same conditions to work with.”
Sheepway, who finished the 20-kilometre trail in 53 minutes and 30 seconds, also produced the fastest overall time at the first Twister race on Dec. 22.
“I was running with the same team I was using at the last race: one veteran and three puppies,” said Sheepway. “They all did great.”
Skijorer Cynthia Corriveau took second place for the second time in a row with a time of 55:23.
Sarah Ouellette was the third fastest skijorer, crossing the finish line in 1:05:42. All five skijorers on Saturday were women.
While skijorers had a repeat winner, sledders had a new one.
Whitehorse’s Gunter Glaeser and his team from Drag ‘N’ Fly Kennel placed first with a time of 56:49 on the 20-kilometre trail.
It was his first time winning a Twister race since he started mushing at age 60 four years ago.
“I’m totally surprised,” said Glaeser. “I haven’t been doing much sledding this year and the dogs didn’t have that much training. They’re not my dogs, they’re from Drag ‘N’ Fly Kennels. I train the dogs and help them and once and a while, take them to some races.”
Marine Gastard, who placed third in the Twister opener last month, was second on Saturday at 57:32.
Alexandra Rochat came third with 58:40.
“Considering the weather that was in the plus for the last three days, I was expecting the trail to be really punchy,” said Glaeser. “I had second thoughts about taking part because there are quite a few uphill stretches where you have to get off the sleigh and run. But everything worked fine. The dogs were great and it was a lot of fun.”
Saturday’s Twister event included Team Yukon trials for the Arctic Winter Games this March in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Twin sisters Lori and Louve Tweddell will make up Yukon’s mushing team for the Games.
See Wednesday’s Yukon News for more on the Tweddells and the beginning of their Arctic Games journey.
The next Twister Race will be held February 15 at Fox Lake.
Skijoring (20 km)
1st Katherine Sheepway – 53:30
2nd Cynthia Corriveau – 55:23
3rd Sarah Ouellette – 1:05:42
4th Jess Wood – 1:11:13
5th Virginia Sarrazin – 1:11:33
Sleds (20 km)
1st Gunter Glaeser – 56:49
2nd Marine Gastard – 57:32
3rd Alexandra Rochat – 58:40
4th Darryl Sheepway – 1:05:54
5th Claudia Wickert – 1:10:22
6th Jean-Marc Champeval – 1:11:00
7th Pierre-Luc Fortin – 1:14:13
8th Martin Haefele – 1:16:08
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org