The 2019 Yukon River Quest was one for the books. For 21 years running, the paddle marathon has attracted SUPers, canoers, and kayakers from around the world to race down the Klondike tributary of the greater Yukon River.
This year a record 117 teams started the race at noon on Wednesday, June 26, and 86 teams finished by 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. A total of 31 teams (26.5%) scratched during the race (an additional team withdrew before the start). Most of the scratches were in Carmacks, as several teams were fatigued or unable to make the cutoff time there on the evening of June 27. Only 3 teams scratched past Carmacks.
Team #21 #wepaddletogether Mike Vincent and Ivan English of Saskatchewan led the leaders into Dawson City in their C2, followed by to the top voyageur Yukon Wide Adventures, a men’s voyageur team with paddlers from the Yukon, BC and Alberta, and the C4 Alpha Super Awesome Strokes of Genius Wolf Squadron with paddlers from the Yukon and Ontario. They set a new record for the C4 class.
“We had a record field this year and it was exciting to see the 117 teams start from Whitehorse. The race itself was challenging for all paddlers, as every team had to deal with the lowest river level we have seen in 21 years (due to low winter snowfalls), a storm halfway down Lake Laberge, and a combination of head winds and some forest fire smoke between Fort Selkirk and Dawson City. At least it didn’t rain!” says Media Director Jeff Brady.
As a result, winning times in the various classes were quite a bit slower this year. “Only nine teams broke the 50-hour mark this year on Friday evening, but we had a record 86 teams finish by the cutoff time in Dawson Saturday night” says Brady.
Prize money was awarded to teams that beat others in their class and finished within 25% of the winning time in their class.
Results and awards are listed below.
Women’s Solo Canoe C1:
- Team # 98 Gulo Gulo – Alison Eremenko, Whitehorse, YT, Canada [61:17:42]. $656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers.
- Team #120 Jennifer Fratzke – Jennifer Nycole Fratzke, Honolulu, HI, USA [67:57:43]. $325.
- Team #109 XBrew – Leslie Davenport, Arnprior, ON, Canada [70:23:32]. $162.50.
Men’s Solo Canoe C1:
- Team #36 Cedar Strip Chip – Chip McKay, Vernon, BC, Canada [50:28:54]. $656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers. 10THOVERALL$337.50.
- Team #14 Bent Shaft – Chris Near, Huntsville, ON, Canada [52:36:45]. $325.
Women’s Solo Kayak K1:
- Team #79 Team Lootas – Kelley Watson, Port Townsend, WA, USA [55:29:57]. $656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers.
- Team #41 Amy Byers – Amy Byers, Sausalito, CA, USA [57:37:59]. $325.
- Team #116 Team Number Onesie – Mirjam Fleming, Whitehorse, YT, Canada [62:00:47]. $162.50.
Men’s Solo Kayak K1:
- Team #77 Time’s Up – Andrew Adam, Anchorage, AK, USA [51:03:45].$656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers.
- Team #26 Atollman –Geoff Waters, Austin, TX, USA [51:06:00].$325.
- Team #53 Hai Voltage – Mirko Prufer, Prodrosche, Germany [56:19:39]. $162.50.
Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP):
- Team #78 Mama Said – Shauna Magowan, Vancouver, BC, Canada [62:03:45]. $656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers.
Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP):
- Team #37 Bart Starboard – Bart de Zwart, Haiku, HI, USA [56:47:47] 4X repeat champion. $656.25 – also received pendant from Gold Trail Jewellers.
- Team #67 SUP N IRISH – Peter Allen, Vancouver, BC, Canada [59:22:06]. $325.
- Team #23 Brad Friesen – Brad Friesen, Winnipeg, MB, Canada [65:28:41]. $162.50.
TANDEM CANOE CLASSES (C2)
- Team #10 Golden Lake Crew – Sebastien and Jennifer Courville, Golden Lake, ON, Canada [49:58:15]. $1250. 9THOVERALL$418.75.
- Team #74 Avery’s Legacy – Steve and Karla Ramsay, Foothills, AB, Canada [52:27:55]. $587.50.
- Team #85 Mix of Sun and Clouds – Tracy and Gaetan Plourde, North Gower, ON, Canada [54:54:15]. $300.
- Team #46 Momentary Lapse of Reason – Sophie Coupal and Sandra Luken, Cantley, QC and Ottawa, ON, Canada [52:36:17] $1250.
- Team #2 Huptown Girls – Heidi Virtanen and Brooke Ramsay, Calgary, AB, Canada, [58:33:27]. $587.50.
- Team #48 Canoe Believe It – Camille Fraser and Kelsey MacDougall, Seattle, WA and Anchorage, AK, USA, [63:53:09]. $300.
- Team #21 #wepaddletogether – Mike Vincent and Ivan English, Regina and Saskatoon, SK, Canada [44:59:10]. $1250. 1STOVERALL$2500.
- Team #5 Gun Runners – Jonathan Morgan and Adam Jordan, Eagle River and Anchorage, AK, USA [51:43:19]. $587.50.
- Team #58 Anything for a Beer – Adam Woolfrey and Scott Reynolds, Tweed and Stirling, ON, Canada [52:32:20]. $300
TANDEM KAYAK CLASSES (K2)
- Team #121 The Kiwis – Ian Huntsman and Wendy Riach, Christchurch, New Zealand [46:39:55]. $1250. 6THOVERALL$818.75.
- Team #11 Dawsons to Dawson – Steve and Kate Dawson, Woronara, Australia [55:10:33]. $587.50.
- Team #43 Spirit of America – Josh Friedman and Julie Kirk, Moyie Springs, ID, USA [57:45:37]. $300.
- Team #50 Sportsbasement – Elaine Baden and Marsha Arnold, Richmond, CA, USA [57:49:41]. $1250.
- Team #47 Green Mommels Saxony – Sven Baumgarten and Ronny Silze, Dresden, Germany [50:53:23]. $1250.
- Team #51 MoKanPaddlers – Dan Voss and Terry Shortt, Kansas City, MO and Wichita, KS, USA [67:50:07].
- Team #118 Cockleshell Endeavor – Neill Marshall and Dave “Brucey” Bruce, Peacehaven, East Sussex, United Kingdom [67:52:07].
4-PERSON CANOE CLASSES (C4)
Mixed C4 (2 men, 2 women):
- Team #6 An Old Guy, Two Young Women and Someone Else – Heather Hellevang, Sydney van Loon, Hugh Fisher, and George McLeod, Pemberton and Kamloops, BC and Whitehorse, YT, Canada [47:23:05]. $1500. 7THOVERALL $656.25 (RECORD ESTABLISHED FOR C4 MIXED).
- Team #66 Trois Riveres – Tim Hockin, Sam Best, Sarah M. Waterman and Kate Meemken, Haines and Skagway, AK, Saint Joseph, IL and South Haven, MN, USA [54:36:22]. $750.
- Team #90 Valllard MASH Up – Jayley McNeill, Meaghan O’Meara, Sam Blair, and Adam Budzinski, Edmonton, Calgary and Terrace, AB, Canada [69:03:13].
Women’s C4 (all women):
- Team #73 Dinjii Njuu’til Ka’t– Melissa Carlick, Pauline Frost, Alice Frost, and Emily McDougall [52:43:03]. $1500. (RECORD ESTABLISHED FOR C4 WOMEN).
- Team #99 In the Crosshairs – Carmen Gustafson, Sarah Murray, Sarah Crane, Jennifer MadKeigan, Whitehorse, YT, Canada, [54:40:47]. $750.
Open C4 (all or predominantly men):
- Team #19 Alpha Super Awesome Strokes of Genius Wolf Squadron – Jake Paleczney, Tom Phillips, Mike De Abreu, and Robert Spinks, Whitehorse, YT and Arnprior and Ottawa, ON, Canada [45:20:50]. $1500. 3RD OVERALL$1920. NEW RECORD IN THIS CLASS!
- Team #93 C4Daze – Stephen Miller, Dave Dahl, Dan Mecklenburg, and Deb Brax, Bay Village and Columbus, OH, Maple Grove, MN, and Groton, MA, USA [47:49:12]. $750. 8THOVERALL$630.
- Team #59 Northwestel – Gary Seed, Kerry Pettitt, Jordan Moore, and Bill Stanzeleit, Whitehorse, YT and Ottawa, ON, Canada [59:16:21].
VOYAGEUR CANOE CLASSES (6 or more persons – VC)
Mixed Voyageur (1/3 of team must be women):
- Team #102 CAP Engineering – Josh VanBibber, Randy Taylor, Donna Johns, Ingrid Wilcox, Bohdie, Bruce Jobin, Samantha Frost, Wes Kemble – Whitehorse, Mayo and Carcross, YT and Edmonton, AB, Canada [52:20:57]. $2250.
- Team #33 Aurora Dancer – Shane Hansen, Steve MacKeil, Anne Clark, Doug Archibald, Ryerson Clark, and Holly Dixon – Mahone Bay, Enfield, and Belnan, NS, Tilbury, ON, and Kamloops, BC, Canada [57:44:24]. $1125.
- Team #49 Spreegurken – Joachim Nagel, Ronny Pohl, Mendy Rokosch, Judith Minks, Axel Frenzel, and Mandy Matzke – Brandeburg, Germany [69:39:11].
Women’s Voyageur (all women):
- Team #24 Stix Together – Anne Labelle, Susan Hamilton, Deb Bartlette, Monique Levesque, Kirsti de Vries, Carolyn Reif, Anna Peacock, and Cheryl Rivest – Whitehorse, YT and West Vancouver, BC, Canada [53:01:16]. 2X repeat women’s VC champion. $2250.
- Team #45 The Wilds Irises– Stephanie Ryan, Briana genbroad, Nicole Kovacs, Samantha Dae Hamilton, Kim Schlosser, and Calla Paleczny,– Skagway, AK and Santa Barbara, CA, USA and Whitehorse, YT, Canada [57:25:23]. $1125.
- Team #31 Team Whoa – Sylvia Anderson, Patricia Clune, Terice Reimer-Clarke, Noreen Schaefer, Tory Russess, Susan Antpoehler, Lisa Robertson, Tunde Fulop – Whitehorse, YT, Wyndel, BC, and Toronto, ON, Canada [57:32:21]. $562.50.
Open Voyageur(all or predominantly men):
- Team #1 Yukon Wide Adventures – Thomas de Jager, Spencer Edelman, Stephen Mooney, Jason Biensch, Pat McLellan, and Gus Oliveira – Whitehorse, YT, Calgary, AB, and Saltspring Island, BC, Canada [45:09:40]. 3X repeat VC champion. $2250. 2NDOVERALL $2000.
- Team #108 Hatchet Lake Voyagers – Robbie Denechezhe, James Sha Oulle, Joseph Dzeylion, Nap Kkaikka, Jay Dzeylion, and Solomon Joseyounen – Wollaston Lake, SK, Canada [45:42:40]. $1125. 4THOVERALL $1281.25.
- Team #29 C6 Heave Paddlesports – Pete Kruszelnicki, Claude Bailey, Richard Parrott, Mike Thornton, Dave Fryer, and Thor Harley – Milton Keynes, Tring, Ashford, London, and Hereford, Great Britain [46:21:05]. $562.50. 5THOVERALL $1025.
Special Cash Awards (if eligible)
Top 10 Overall (noted above): Additional cash was awarded to the top 10 overall finishers.
Top Indigenous Team: Team #108 Hatchet Lake Voyageurs. $500
Top All Yukon Women: Team #73 Dinjii Njuu’til Ka’t. $500
Top All Yukon Mixed: Team #100 One More Time. $500.
Top All Yukon Men:Team #44 Not Invested. $500.
Fastest Senior Team (55+): no award
Fastest Young Adult Team (19-24):no award
Special Awards [Sponsors]
Top Solo Awards: [Gold/silver pendants from Gold Trail Jewellers] presented to top solo paddlers in each class (noted above).
Top Yukoners: Team #73 Dinjii Njuu’til Ka’t [Yukon Brewing swag packs]
Youngest Paddler: Isaac Adams, 15, from Team #12 Hustle and Flow of Ontario [YRQ merchandise swag]. A special shout-out to Liam Palmer, who won this award last year. The way the calendar lined up, he was still 15 at the start of the race, but by the end was 16.
Oldest Paddler:Holger Fischer, 75, from Team #86 Old Danube Pirates of Austria [History book from Skagway Book Co.]
Spirit of the Yukon: Team #59 Northwestel, a C4 crew that stopped for an hour and assisted another team in the race, which kept them going all the way to Dawson. [Engraved paddle from Klondike Visitors Association]
Red Stove: Team #111 Zooom – Lauren Muir and Stacie Zaychuk, a women’s C2 team from Whitehorse, that won the “race” not to be the last team to finish. [Half of a Yukon stove donated by Haywire Industries, Griffith’s Mobile Maintenance and Harry Kern Photography – the award honours the Pierre Berton story about two prospectors whose partnership fell apart upon arriving in the Klondike, to the point that they split everything in half, including their Yukon stove].
Top Overall Team: Team #21 #wepaddletogether Mike Vincent and Ivan English [free entry for captain and same team members in 2020 YRQ and name on permanent trophy] first to finish at 18:59:10 on Friday, June 30. The last time a C2 won the overall title was in 2016.[YRMPA]
GREAT RIVER CLUB additions:Reaching 5,000 kilometres were Stephen Mooney and Deb Bartlette of Whitehorse. (Elizabeth Bosely and Sylvia Anderson were also presented their pins from last year). There were no additions to the 10,000-kilometre list this year. See updated lists on the YRQ site soon.