A new winner and a perfect season highlighted the season closer of the Yukon Brewing Twister Race Series on Sunday at the Takhini Hot Springs.
Carcross musher Crispin Studer became only the second to win the sled division in the series this winter while Whitehorse skijorer Stefan Wackerhagen maintained a perfect record at the final race of the season for the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon.
Studer is known more as a long-distance racer, placing 13th in this year’s Yukon Quest and 18th in 2004.
However, he had a clean run with no tangles or navigational problems.
“I think the sprint teams all had problems – that’s the reason I ended up being ahead of them,” said Studer. “If they would have had a good run, they’d be ahead of me for sure.
“I know one guy did a detour, took a wrong trail, and that cost him some time. There were some people who had big tangles.”
Sunday’s race, called Cool Dogs & Hot Springs Race, was Studer’s first Twister race this winter. Mandy Pearson of the Fox Lake area won the first three Twister races this season but was absent from Sunday’s race.
Studer, who won his third 120-mile River Runner race last month, finished the 10-mile course in 54 minutes and 13 seconds. In second was Jonathan Lucas (55:24) and third went to Gunther Glaser (59:25).
Wackerhagen hasn’t lost a race all season. Not only did he win all four skijor races in the Twister series, he won the 30-mile skijor division Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race for a third straight year in January and beat out three other racers in the skijor division of the River Runner 120 last month.
“I train quite a bit, I prepare, my dogs are great and then maybe a little bit of luck,” said Wackerhagen.
Second place’s Cynthia Corriveau nipped at Wackerhagen’s heels for most of the season. Corriveau placed second behind Wackerhagen in three out of the four Twister races, including Sunday’s. She also finished just 19 seconds behind Wackerhagen at the Carbon Hill race in January.
“It’s going to get harder next year with other people having younger dogs and maybe training more,” said Wackerhagen.
Speaking of close finishes, Wackerhagen was just 14 seconds behind Studer on Sunday.
Studer will be racing in the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race beginning this Thursday in Dawson City.
A total of 25 teams participated in the Twister series finale on Sunday.
“Great trails at the Hot Springs race, great preparation, and a great venue to have a race out there,” added Wackerhagen.
1st Crispin Studer – 54:13
2nd Jonathan Lucas – 55:24
3rd Gunther Glaser – 59:25
4th Jade Netzer – 1:00:46
5th Aaron Nicholson – 1:00:59
6th Alexandra Rochat – 1:01:57
7th Martine LeLevier – 1:02:00
8th Laurel Turansky – 1:02:25
9th Deb Knight – 1:07:14
10th Fabian Schmitz – 1:09:18
11th Christiane Champeval – 1:12:41
12th Martin Haefele – 1:13:21
13th Marine Gastard – 1:15:30
14th Mathieu Devred – 1:21:07
15th Sarah Best – 1:31:24
16th Melissa Schenke – 1:38:20
1st Stefan Wackerhagen – 54:27
2nd Cynthia Corriveau – 1:02:34
3rd Gabriel Rivest – 1:03:46
4th Virginia Sarrazin – 1:11:44
5th Jess Wood – 1:12:55
1st Connor Ferguson – 26:21
2nd Eugene Champeval – 28:31
1st Janet Keller – 27:33
2nd James Stobbs – 41:07
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