Photos and text by Justin Kennedy
With Day 2 completed of the 13th annual Yukon River Quest, paddlers are eager to get to the finish line in Dawson City over the next few days. The race route, all told, is 460 miles.
While the Texans held the lead after their mandatory seven-hour layover in Carmacks, the local Whitehorse team, Sausages and Clams, are in contention. They left the Carmacks checkpoint looking strong and positive. As the short-lived morning sun bounced between clouds the rest of the day, paddlers continued streaming into Carmacks.
Some two hours after The Texans pulled in, solo kayaker Chris Spoor of Team SPU arrived looking forward to his layover. Two solo kayakers from Hereford, England, were giving chase: Shaun Thrower of Team Numbnuts, and Sharon Colley of Team Nice Beaver.
The field—73 teams at the start—has also dwindled at Carmacks. Below Carmacks is another crux section, Five Finger Rapids, a tricky passage through five channels passing by four basalt columns. Proper line selection is key here.
Although the tough sections of Lake Laberge and Five Finger Rapids require strong paddling skills, this event has both rookie and veteran competitors arriving year after year. A lot of the competitors compete for the gratification, others the experience and others still for the challenge. And while their positive attitudes may not show at checkpoints, their team names often tell a different story: Water We Doin’, Perpetual Acceleration, Crazy Ladyz, Canadian Driftwood, Ninja Raccoons.
Stay tuned for further updates from the Yukon River Quest.