Michelle Phillips of Tagish Lake Kennel crossed the finish line in second place in the Yukon Quest 300. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News Files)

Michelle Phillips of Tagish Lake Kennel crossed the finish line in second place in the Yukon Quest 300. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News Files)

Yukon Quest names new board, sets date for winter races in 2023

New directors named following annual general meeting.

Following the public disagreement that seemed to bring an end to cross-border cooperation between the organizing committees of the Yukon Quest dog-sled race in Alaska and the Yukon, the Yukon association has named a new board and laid out plans for races in 2023.

The disagreement between the Alaskan and Yukon organizing boards, which came to a head in early May, focused on the proposed rules for mandatory rest periods during the 2023 race. Organizers on both sides expressed doubts about the return of a cross-border race in the near future.

The changes came at the Yukon Quest International Association (Canada)’s Annual General Meeting on June 14 when the new board was elected. The new board is made up of returning directors Anne Tayler and Didier Moggia as well as returning musher’s representative Frank Turner. New directors Jonathan Alsberghe, Nathaniel Hamlyn, Mackenzie Hare, Ed Hopkins and Carol Locke will also join.

“The Quest would like to thank our outgoing Board members – Susie Rogan, Trudy Burdess, Hans Gatt, Sebastian Schnuelle, Bryan Alp, Patrick Beille and Thomas Tetz – both for their work to put on the 2022 races, and for their dedication and passion towards dog care and advancing the sport of mushing,” a June 15 statement from the Quest reads.

Along with passing new bylaws bringing the Quest into compliance with the Yukon’s new Societies Act that came into effect last year, the annual general meeting resulted in a schedule of events for the rest of 2022 and into 2023.

Next up is the annual Barkfest and registration day on Aug. 6 outside the Quest’s downtown Whitehorse office. Along with a barbecue, draw prize and dog demonstrations, the event will include a carnicross and bikejor race organized in partnership with the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon.

Also announced following the AGM was the dates and distances for the 2023 Yukon Quest. The race, set to start in Whitehorse on February 18, 2023, will feature three distances — 450 miles, 250 miles and 100 miles. The end points will be Dawson City, Pelly Crossing and Braeburn. Organizers plan to put out more information including sign-up information, rules and totals for the winners’ purses later this month.

Organizers are also seeking anyone interested in getting involved in the winter dog-sled race as a director. Interested people are invited to contact the Quest’s Whitehorse office for details.

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com