Canadian Denis Tremblay and his team leave the starting chute in Whitehorse on Feb. 2 to officially start the 2019 Yukon Quest. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Whitehorse’s Hans Gatt takes the lead after day one of the 2019 Yukon Quest

“It was pretty cold out there, that’s for sure”

The 36th annual Yukon Quest 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometre) dog sled race is in full swing after starting at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse on Feb. 2 with 30 mushers taking to the trail three minutes apart.

Hans Gatt, the four-time winner who started second in this year’s race, was the first to reach the Braeburn checkpoint. Gatt and nine dogs covered the 160 kilometres from Whitehorse in just over nine hours, reaching the checkpoint at 8:14 p.m.

Temperatures were in the -30 C to -35 C range in Whitehorse for the start, but were -40 C in Braeburn when Gatt reached the checkpoint.

“It was pretty cold out there, that’s for sure,” said Gatt. “But it’s the same for everybody.”

Gatt said the trail was “pretty good” and that his team was doing well.

“They did great. They did what they did all winter long,” said Gatt. “That’s what we had to do.”

Next into Braeburn was 2018 winner Allen Moore a little over two hours behind Gatt. Moore was the 26th musher to start the race and wasted no time in starting his climb up the leaderboard.

Tagish’s Michelle Phillips was the first Canadian to reach Braeburn, arriving at 10:40 p.m in fifth place. Quebecer Denis Tremblay was not far behind in seventh and Mount Lorne’s Nathaniel Hamlyn was 11th.

Other Yukon mushers were Jason Biasetti arriving 17th, Brian Wilmshurst arriving 20th and Rob Cooke arriving 27th.

Due to changes to this year’s trail, teams are all trucking from Braeburn to Carmacks and are eligible to continue racing from Carmacks 12 hours after they arrived in Braeburn plus a time differential to account for the staggered starts.

As of 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, All 30 mushers have reached Braeburn and Gatt is the only musher currently on the trail between the Carmacks checkpoint and the McCabe Creek dog drop. The next checkpoint after Carmacks is in Pelly Crossing.

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

Just Posted

It’s official: most of the Peel watershed is now protected

Leaders inked the final plan on Aug. 22

TIMELINE: 15 years of Peel planning

The signing of the final plan for the Peel marks the end of 15 years of planning — and court fights

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

RBC Training Ground targets Yukon archer

Vincent Menard is one of 100 athletes from across Canada heading to Calgary

Child and youth advocate speaks out on school attendance

Young Yukoners are entitled to an education, says King

Whitehorse’s Hunter Vincent on the podium at Montreal Eau Vive

Whitehorse’s Hunter Vincent was in Montreal to compete in the annual Montreal… Continue reading

Sunny skies for 2019 Rick Janowicz Long Lake Triathlon

“It was sunny and breezy — perfect temperatures — and I think people enjoyed it”

Driving with Jens: What do milk and your child’s car seat have in common?

Things have changed since kids used to sprawl across the back window of the car

YCCMA Mosquito Harescramble includes record numbers for return of ladies class

“I think it’s a good indication it’s turning to a family sport versus what it has been in the past”

Yukonomist: Fun facts for your next violent barbecue debate about government jobs

Have you ever been at a barbecue where someone starts talking loudly… Continue reading

Yukon disc golfers compete in Trilogy Challenge

“We definitely are seeing a lot of new people starting into the sport”

History Hunter: New book celebrates Yukon’s most colourful hotel

If the walls could talk, what tales they would tell. But the… Continue reading

Most Read