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Update: Alaska’s Sass leads YQ 300, Phillips of Tagish Kennels not far behind

100 Mile race concluded. Brent Sass leads 300 miler back to Whitehorse
The northern lights lit up the sky over the Braeburn checkpoint of the Yukon Quest 300 mile race early in the morning of Feb. 21. (Yukon Quest/Facebook)

Update 3:20 p.m, Feb. 21:

After taking a rest at Braeburn, most of the Yukon Quest 300 Mile field is back on the course and bound for Whitehorse.

Brent Sass and his team remain at the front of the back. The Alaskan musher and his dogs pulled into the Braeburn checkpoint in first place shortly after 4 a.m. this morning; they were back on the course at 11:47 a.m. The online live tracker showed Sass closing on time check #1 at 3:20 p.m. with roughly 80 miles to go before the finish line in Whitehorse. If he can hold off the other teams and cross the line first he will equal the feat he pulled off in Alaska ten days ago in the 350 mile race on that side of the border.

Sass’ nearest competition, about six miles behind as of 3:20 p.m., is Michelle Phillips of the Tagish Lake Kennel. Her team is also rested having spent about eight hours at Braeburn.

Further back along the course is a three-team pack of Sebastien Dos Santos Borges, Aaron Peck and Mayla Hil. Connor McMahon trails them by about four miles.

Jerry Joinson and Deke Naaktegeboren have just left Braeburn and Paul Hamlyn remains at the checkpoint.

Original Story:

All the remaining action in this year’s Yukon Quest races will be on the race’s home stretch as the 100-mile race has finished and all of the 300-mile mushers are resting up in Braeburn before making the last 110 mile push back to Whitehorse.

The 100-mile race came down to a dash into Braeburn. Nathaniel Hamlyn crossed the finish line first for a time of 14 hours 40 minutes. Martine Le Levier was only three minutes behind.

“It was a typical Quest — a bit of everything,” Hamlyn said in an interview posted to the Quest’s Facebook page.

“You never know what to expect out there. We had some soft trail, some water, some crazy turns. Basically, exciting, to sum it up!”

The rest of the 100-mile field followed with Jonathon Alsberghe bringing up the rear, but still happy to have crossed with a healthy team of dogs.

Within a three and a half hour period early in the morning on Feb. 21, all nine teams in the 300-mile race also pulled in to Braeburn. The Braeburn checkpoint was lit by the headlamps of volunteers and the northern lights overhead as mushers pulled in for a pre-dawn finish.

Brent Sass was first into Braeburn one day, 13 hours and 14 minutes after leaving Whitehorse overtaking three other teams who beat him to the turnaround.

Michelle Phillips, who had reached the Mandana Lake turnaround point nearly an hour ahead of the next fastest musher, pulled in about 10 minutes after Sass.

Paul Hamlyn brought up the rear of 300-mile field pulling into Braeburn shortly before 8 a.m., one day, 16 hours and 53 minutes after starting out.

According to race organizers most teams will take a six-hour rest in Braeburn before making for the finish line in Whitehorse.

(Jim Elliot)

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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