Two mushers tie for first at Twister race

A technical glitch caused the loss of seconds on the timing device, leaving just the hours and minutes, at the Yukon Brewing Twister at Stardog Kennel on Sunday.

A technical glitch caused the loss of seconds on the timing device, leaving just the hours and minutes, at the Yukon Brewing Twister at Stardog Kennel on Sunday.

It led to the first tie at a Twister race in at least a few years, if not ever.

Two friends got to share the top spot in the 15-mile sled dog race. Mushers Amil Dupuis-Rossi and Jon Lucas both finished with a time of one hour and six minutes. Lucas left a couple minutes in front of Dupuis-Rossi and returned a couple minutes ahead too in the race hosted by Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon.

“Jon and I were running together out there, were leapfrogging and passing each other, which was tons of fun,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “I remember turning to him on the trail when I passed him and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m having so much fun!’

“I’ve known Jon for years, so it was fun reconnecting out on the trail.”

“This one was really nice because Amil was running Lee Kirkpatrick’s Drag N’ Fly Kennel (dogs) and I’ve been chasing them for seven years,” said Lucas. “So it was nice to at least draw with them.”

It was the first Twister race wins for the mushers since the 2011/12 race season, both of which were in skijor events.

“It’s been a few years since I ran a dog sled in a race,” said Dupuis-Rossi. “I train with a dog sled all the time, this winter anyway, because I’m running for Drag ‘N’ Fly Kennels. So they were all Drag ‘N’ Fly kennel dogs.

“You can take more dogs out with a sled rather than a skijor, and I’ve really been liking that.”

“The reason I’m sledding is I have 15 dogs and to get them trained, it’s got to be a sled,” said Lucas.

Lucas placed second in the sled division of the Twister season opener and was second in the 30-mile sled division of the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race last month.

Dupuis-Rossi finished second in the six-mile skijor division of the Carbon Hill race last month.

“At one point I came down a hill and there was a sharp left turn onto overflow and two of my dogs stepped off the trail and disappeared into water,” added Lucas. “They got dragged out again by the momentum.”

Katherine Sheepway won the long-distance skijor race for a third time this Twister season with a time of 1:08. Sheepway had the fastest overall time, for sled and skijor, at the first two Twister races this year.

Janet Keller won the recreation division, and Lori Tweddell won the youth division ahead of twin sister Louve. The Tweddells will represent Yukon in mushing at the Arctic Winter Games next month in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com