Studer wins fourth straight Percy in race’s 40th year

After a year off of racing, Carcross musher Crispin Studer decided to get one in before the thaw. He did, after all, have a title to defend.

After a year off of racing, Carcross musher Crispin Studer decided to get one in before the thaw. He did, after all, have a title to defend.

The 35-year-old won his fourth straight title at the 40th annual Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race in Dawson City last Friday.

“The trail was very bumpy. They put a lot of work into it, but it was still a very technical trail. Other than that, it was pretty good,” said Studer. “I had a flawless run, which is my goal. I didn’t have a single injury and no dog problems, and that’s what I was hoping for.”

Studer claimed first, completing the 338-kilometre race from Dawson to Eagle, Alaska and back in 21 hours and 39 minutes.

It’s his fifth Percy title in total, having won the race in 2011 as well.

While Studer took most of the season off to finish construction of his new home, he team from Pika Kennel kept fairly busy.

The Pika dogs were also winners at the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race in January. Carcross’ William Kleedehn then ran the team to win the 2016 Cinnamon Bun Run at the end of February.

“William had all the race dogs pretty much all season and he wasn’t able to race this weekend so I jumped in,” said Studer.

In addition to winning the Percy last year, Studer and his speedy team won at the Carbon Hill, the Silver Sled and the Cinnamon Bun Run. So, in other words, it’s been a while since his dogs have lost a race.

“I’m pretty lucky to have good core of dogs here,” said Studer. “You have to have good bloodlines … I don’t do anything fancy with training … Feeding is super basic: meat, kibble and water.

“The majority of it is really good bloodlines.”

Four-time Yukon Quest champ and two-time Percy winner Hans Gatt of Whitehorse placed second, 23 minutes behind Studer.

Whitehorse’s Alexander Serdjukov took third with a time of 22:24 and was named Rookie of the Year.

Dawson’s Kyla Boivin placed fourth at 24:51; Wisconsin’s Laura Neese fifth at 27:47; and Whitehorse’s Gaetan Pierrard came sixth at 27:53 and picked up the Vet Care Award.

Shallow Bay’s Gerry Willomitzer scratched from the race in Eagle and was given the Sportsmanship Award.

“I had a 20-minute lead after 50 miles and then it was between 20 and 25 minutes for the rest of the race,” said Studer. “I knew if I didn’t have to load dogs – didn’t have injured dogs – I’d be tough to catch. So I made sure I had leaders up front running just the right speed – not too fast, not put the dogs over the edge by running too fast a tiny bit.”

In the half-distance Percy Junior race, from Dawson to 40 Mile and back, Dawson’s Jason Biasetti took first with a time of 11:50 and received the Vet Care Award.

Whitehorse’s Matt Rydholm (11:56) placed second and Dawson’s Matt McHugh (12:53), just two seconds ahead of Dawson’s Brian Wilmshurst. Haines Junction’s Krys March took in the red lantern.

“This was the 40th annual Percy DeWolfe and Percy himself carried the mail from Dawson to Eagle for 40 years, so it was a special anniversary for everyone involved,” said race president Anna Claxton.

“One notable thing was the effort it took to get the trail in this year … A bunch of great and really dedicated volunteers from Dawson stepped up and did an amazing amount of work. We finally calculated it and it took over 200 hours to get the trail in to Eagle. Without that this race wouldn’t have happened.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… 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.

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, 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

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

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

Most Read