HOLY SMOKES - Was that cool or what?
Smashing the record that Sebastian Schnuelle set last year, Hans Gatt won the Yukon Quest with an astounding time of 9 days, 0 hours & 23 minutes. During this last dash Gatt took full advantage of his faster team to gain even more ground ahead of his closest rival, second place finisher Lance Mackey. Lance arrived in Whitehores at 2:38 pm for an official corrected time of 9 days, 1 hour and 29 minutes. Having left Braeburn only 34 minutes apart, Gatt extended his lead by another 39 minutes. Third place finisher Hugh Neff arrived in Whitehorse at 4:18 for a total corrected official time of 9 days, 3 hours and 9 minutes.
Gatt and Mackey both crossed the finish line more than 100 miles ahead of the leading trio's closest competitors. Zach Steer left Braeburn checkpoint as scheduled at 3:34 followed by Ken Anderson at 3:35.
The oldest musher in this race, Sonny Lindner, arrived in Braeburn at 1:13 pm followed by 22 year old rookie Josh Cadzow at 4:30. Brent Sass, who is trudging along with only 7 dogs in his team arrived at Braeburn four minutes behind Josh. At this writing Abbie West is still on the trail but expected to arrive at the last checkpoint of the race at any moment. Rounding out our top-10, Normand Casavant left the checkpoint at Pelly Crossing at 2:31 this afternoon, not quite twelve hours behind my hometown girl.
As I noted in this morning's update, I have to return to work tomorrow so I'm trying to watch the race in-between preparations. The temperature here at the house has fallen from a high of +42 (F) to a nonetheless balmy +40. All of my dogs have been transported to their boarding kennel so I have just a few small tasks to complete in order to declare myself "ready". I may post more later tonight, depending upon what may develop out on the trail.