Whitehorse Daily Star

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ANOTHER FIRST – Team Yukon Wide Adventures finished first overall again in the 20th annual Yukon River Quest, in a total time of 44 hours, 21 min- utes and 53 seconds. Photos by YUKON RIVER QUEST/EVA HOLLAND

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TIME TO CELEBRATE – Voyageur paddler Stephen Mooney prepares for a toast to victory after finishing the Yukon River Quest Friday in first place overall. Photos by YUKON RIVER QUEST/EVA HOLLAND

Yukon Wide Adventures successfully defend title in 715-km River Quest

The voyageur team of Yukon Wide Adventures captained by Thomas de Jager of Whitehorse repeated as the fastest boat in this year’s Yukon River Quest.

By Chuck Tobin on July 3, 2018

The voyageur team of Yukon Wide Adventures captained by Thomas de Jager of Whitehorse repeated as the fastest boat in this year’s Yukon River Quest.

The team of six men, with three new faces, landed in Dawson City at 6:21 p.m. Friday, completing the 715-kilometre paddle from Whitehorse in a total time of 44 hours, 21 minutes and 53 seconds.

Yukon Wide was an hour and 34 minutes slower than last year.

Team members recalled in Carmacks during their mandatory seven-hour rest stop how the low water in the river below Lake Laberge presented a difficult challenger for the big boat.

The U.K. voyageur team Paddlesports Mongrels was second overall, finishing just under 23 minutes behind the defending champions. The mixed tandem kayak team Kiwis from New Zealand was third overall, finishing at 6:57 p.m. in a total time of 44:57:56.

The race record of 39:32:43 was set by a voyageur boat in 2008.

Of the 103 vessels that left Whitehorse Wednesday at noon, 27 withdrew.

Paddling for Yukon Wild Adventures were de Jager, Stephen Mooney and Spencer Edelman of Whitehorse, and Kendall McDonald and Brandon Johnston of Inuvik and Gus Oliveira of Salt Spring Island, B.C.

This year’s winner for youngest paddler was Liam Palmer, age 15, of Palmer’s Progress, in a men’s tandem canoe from Alaska.

The fastest senior team (55+), for the second year in a row, was The Bickersons in their mixed tandem canoe from Quebec.

The Red Stove award for the second-last finisher went to Jon Bowen of Revelstroke, B.C., in his solo kayak.

Thirty-nine-year solo canoeist Ian Jobin of Whitehorse was selected as top First Nations team.

And the Spirit of the Yukon Award went to volunteer Tony Thole, for his heroic Indiana Jones-style rescue of a safety boat that got loose in Carmacks and was on its way downriver when Thole chased it down in a racer’s canoe and leapt aboard!

Winners in the individual boat classes were:

• Open C1 – Team Sika Adventure paddled by Bryan Allemang of Whitehorse, with a total time of 54:05:36.

• Women’s K1 – Team AlaskaEileen paddled by Eileen Visser of Alaska, in a total time of 50:59:38.

• Men’s K1 – Team Akita paddled by Wayne Anderson of Calgary, with a total time of 49:58:39.

• Open SUP – Team Starboard paddled by Bart de Zwart of Hawaii, with a total time of 55:35:30.

• Women’s C2 – Team Ross Sisters paddled by Frances Ross of Old Crow and Susan Ross of Revelstoke, B.C., with a total time of 54:53:28

• Mixed C2 – There was a tie for first between The Bickersons from Quebec and team Golden Lake Crew, with a total time of 49:00:21.

• Men’s C2 – Team Alpha Super Awesome Cool Dynamite Wolf Squadron paddled by Robert Spinks and Jake Paleczny of Whitehorse, in a total time of 45:07:05.

• Mixed K2 – Team Kiwis paddled by Ian Huntsman and Wendy Riach of New Zealand, in a total time of 44:57:56.

• Men’s K2 – Team World of Kayaks Team Estonia paddled by Martin Iiumets and Hillar Irves of Estonia, in a total time of 48:07:28.

• Open C4 – Team The More The Merrier paddled by Cyrill Derreumaux, Red Pedrick and Dave Lous of California and Lois Behin of France, in a total time of 52:04:18.

• Women’s Voyageur – The Whitehorse team Stix Together paddled by Deb Barlette, Cheryl Rivest, Chantelle Rivest, Sarah Ouellette, Carolyn Reif, Jane Haydock, Cassy Andrew and Monique Levesque, in a total time of 51:50:46.

• Mixed Voyageur – The U.S. team Voyager VIII Mission paddled by Debbie Brax, Ken Streb, Dan Mecklenburg, Stephen Miller, Emily Broderson, Chris Broderson and David Dahl, in a total time of 47:20:49.

• Men’s Voyageur – Team Yukon Wide Adventures paddled by Thomas de Jager, Stephen Mooney and Spencer Edelman of Whitehorse, and Kendall McDonald and Brandon Johnston of Inuvik and Gus Oliveira of Salt Spring Island, B.C., in a total time of 44:21:53.

With files provided by Eva Holland, the Yukon River Quest’s media officer.

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