The 2021 Yukon River Quest was cancelled on the eve of the June 23 start because of flood concerns on sections of the Yukon River.
Still wanting boats on the water to “help mollify” the cancellation decision, the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association is holding a short race from Carmacks to Dawson on the holiday weekend, August 14-16.
The race will start at noon at the Coal Mine Campground or another location on the river near Carmacks.
Registration for the “Race to the Klondyke” opened on July 14. It’s $50 per person to sign up. Teams who miss the first registration wave can get on a waitlist for $15.
The race will be limited to 50 teams and the usual boat classes will be allowed – solo and tandem kayaks and canoes, standup paddle boards, four-person canoes and voyageur canoes.
After the cancellation of the 2021 race, Yukon River Quest president Peter Coates said the board would work on creating a smaller race for a later date in the summer.
The Race to the Klondyke will have a different structure than the River Quest. There will be limited safety cover and volunteer support along the section of the river between Carmacks and Dawson.
The new race will use the previously approved COVID-19 plan and will have rules similar to the River Quest. This means only Canadian teams will be allowed to enter – unless there is a change to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
There will not be prize money but paddlers will receive finisher certificates and pins.
The usual race begins around the summer solstice. Since this race is about a month-and-a-half later, paddlers will have to contend with darkness. Teams will be required to camp for eight hours nightly.
Teams will be followed by SPOT or InReach tracking devices but they’ll be responsible for their own safety.
Contact John Tonin at email@example.com