Monday, March 30, 2009

Why it's called the Twister

Gee, Haw and On By - Snowpiglet Eilidh Lucas leads Drew Spicer and Laura Lucas home while Tony Radford scoots around the Pyramids and into the Drop Kick Corner.

Camera: Jessica Simon
posted by: yukonwriter

Spring Fling Pooper Scoop

What a treat to zip out on a trail as smooth as silk! Thanks so much Klondike Snowmobile Association for the magnificent grooming job - even carved a pull out in the desert snow at the Pyramids.

Crispin Studer hooked up his ghost team and vanished down the trail to come in ahead of the Snowpigs. Emma and Assman, below, practiced their cover photo pose for the Percy DeWolfe. Good show league leader Jonathan Lucas.
Teams found their pace this month and ran in packs around the back end. Two, three teams at a time sliced into the crust on the way to the Drop Kick Corner and every group met traffic in the Stone Chute. Have I been spelling this wrong all season - should it really be Stone Shoot?

IMPORTANT LESSON FROM THE TRAIL: via Fabian Schmitz - sometimes the dogs just run into the volunteers. "Only at the corners where there was a person, my team went straight for them. At the empty corners, they took my commands like normal."

Below, Laura Lucas relaxes after Team Pom Pom's hour on the trail. Is this the unknown weathergirl unmasked in her own snowbank? See for yourselves, and compare.
5 km Kids' Race
Kids on Skids this month included Erin Spicer, Thea Carey and her brother Seth who banked out of the start, below,

and Keegan Hopkins who walked home. Even though he wasn't happy with what happened, he came in under his own steam, and in the money for the league.

But running away with the purse was Jeff Diment, below, who capped his Kids' League career with the season's top prize. Get ready to move up to the Twister next year.

Pet Dog 5 km

Below, Heather Demarais and Akeno cani-crossed the finish for the red lantern. Jonathan Lucas, ousted by Rachel Wider and Claudia Wickert, finished third.

And that's the last sniff of the season. All the dogs have marked their parking spots for next year. Thanks to our great sponsors and supporters, Icy Waters, Dazhaw Du Chiropractic Clinic, Midnight Sun Alpaca, Aurora Booties, Klondike Snowmobile Association, C&D Feeds, First Mate Feeds and league backers Yukon Brewing. They've staked $1600 for the 2010 Twister, bringing their total investment in local dog sports to over $6000. You have our mutual support - by the bottle and the jug.

Keep your tails up and noses to the ground for the Hot Hounds season opener at Drag-n-Fly Kennels in July.

Photos: Stefan Wackerhagen
Text: Jessica Simon
posted by yukonwriter

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yet more Season Finale photos - this time from Stacie Zaychuk

Yes indeed Ms Zaychuk finally managed to drag herself out of her cosy bed (or was it out of hibernation), surrounded by 12 dogs, in time to catch the end of the last Twister this season - still, we are grateful for these finish line photos. Stacie has also kindly and tentatively offered to host the new June Hot Hounds, Season Start out at Mendenhall. Remember she's a skijorer with a sled habit she's been trying to kick for some time (there should be a support network for these desperate people trying to escape from the dark world of sledding) so expect some interesting twists and turns in the trail. Watch this space for more details as they emerge!

Lee Kirkpatrick brings Team C back, still landing third and being beaten by her A Team driven by mad flying Tony on the metal-fatigued Skeleton sled (it's going to snap, Tony, it's just thin metal...into shards....)

Skijorer extraordinaire Stephan Wackerhadyn storms home

We think this is Marine Gastard, but she's going the right way so we cannot be sure....

Drag n Fly Team 27, white leader "I want an upgrade to team 19, the 20s always get the stoopid monkeys!"

Snowpiglet Eilidh Lucas, fortunately unable to understand her leader's thoughts....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Icy Waters Ltd Race Day Results + League Champions Table

Sunday March 22nd, approx -7'C, Sunny, southerly breeze. A firm, smoothly packed trail held up well, but still turned softer as more and more racers flew down it, making it slower going on the return leg. 

17 teams raced the 12 mile Twister

1 - Tony Radford - Drag n Fly - 5 dog sled - 46:40
2 - Crispin Studer -  - 5 dog sled - 49:15
3 - Lee Kirkpatrick - Drag n Fly - 5 dog sled - 50:55
4 - Christal Barzac - Drag n Fly - 5 dog sled - 52:38
5 - Martine Levellier - Loping Kennel - 5 dog sled - 54:21
6 - Stefan Wackerhagen - - 2 dog skis - 57:43
7 - Jon Lucas - Snowpigs - 2 dog skis - 58:04
8 - Eilidh Lucas - Drag n Fly - 5 dog sled - 59:49
9 - Rachel Wider - - 4 dog sled - 1:01:49
10 - Drew Spicer - - 5 dog sled - 1:02:06
11 - EmCee Leroux - - 5 dog sled - 1:02:08
12 - Claudia McPhee - - 5 dog sled - 1:04:10
13 - Fabian Schmite - - 4 dog sled - 1:07:44
14 - Marin Gastard - Loping Kennel - 5 dog sled - 1:09:21
15 - Laura Jane Lucas - Silver Paw - 5 dog sled - 1:10:39
16 - Alexandra Roche - - 4 dog sled - 1:21:54
17 - Wendy Morrision - - 2 dog skis - 1:24:37

5km Kids Race

1 - Erin Spicer - 3 dog sled - 7:12
2 - Thea Carey - 2 dog sled - 8:45
3 - Jeff Diment - 4 dog sled - 10:13
4 - Seth Carey - 3 dog sled - 15:58
5 - Keegan Hopkins - 2 dog sled - DNF

5km 1 Pet Dog Race

 1 - Rachel Wider - 13:48
2 - Claudia Wickert - 14:55
3 - Jon Lucas - 15:59
4 - Heather Desmarais - 19:04
5 - Carolynn Fujda - 19:05



1 - JON LUCAS - SNOWPIGS - skijor - 30 points
2 - Lee Kirkpatrick - Drag n Fly - sled - 26 pts
3 - Kyla Boivin - Doggone Racing Kennel - sled - 26pts (slower than Lee)
4 - Tony Radford - Drag n Fly - sled - 24 pts
5 - Darrel Sheepway - Smokin' Paws - skijor - 8 pts

5km Kids Race - all sleds

2 - Erin Spicer
3 - Keegan Hopkins

5km 1 Pet Dog Race

2 - Keno, Heather Desmarais

It's all over until November!!
See you all at the Hot Hounds Dryland Racing, Drag n Fly Kennel, July
Thanks to everyone - Sponsors, Volunteers, Racers

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Icy Waters Ltds Race Results!!

Just a quick update between Yukon Brewing celebratory T shirt consumptions, full results will come later:

Tony Radford running not-Draggin'-at-all-Flies dogs stormed to first in the twelve mile, closely followed by "a working at producing more mushers" Crispin Studer (which explains why he was a little tired), with Lee Kirkpatrick trying out her "C" team in third. Well done to all of them, but with Kyla Boivin off fumbling about in some bush somewhere today's placing's allowed Snowpigs' two dog team of  Assman and Emma (herself a Lee Kirkpatrick dog) with skijoring Jon Lucas to seize the League Title and the Copper Trophy (which he's been after for three years!).

Jeff Diment cemented his Title charge with another First in the Kid's race and won the League with Erin Spicer taking League second and Keagan Hopkins taking League Third - although he didn't know about it because he was sulking after taking an early bath after being dumped by his dog team somewhere on the trail and having a long, slow walk back... we're not aware his mother told him about the $75 as she pocketed it at the awards ceremony!

Snowpigs were back with Asha in the Pet Dog League, taking first from Keno and Heather Desmarais - no-one else came out to race the Pet-dog often enough to qualify for the other League places - and next season will see a tightening of the qualifications for this race - it ain't a race for old/retired/not-so-good trained sled dogs, it's for Pet Dogs!

Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors and racers!!

Weathergirl - Stuck in a snowdrift - Race is ON

The Weathergirl says "there's a shi - tonne of snow on the CHT trail and the temp's just fine, s'all good"

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Weather's good! cooling down nicely at -16'C  at 9.44pm, and falling (-11'C 30 mins ago!) and the trail has been polished! Harris Cox of the KSA groomed the trail twice this morning, and Jon's pallet polished it 8-9pm this evening.

It's hard, and firm, yet with a strange hard styrofoam-like consistency: tread on it and you sink 1/2" in, stand on tip toes and sink 1-2" in, and it sounds...hollow. Asha and Puck (mere lightweight Rotties at 92 and 99lbs pounded along, punching 1" into packed trail - so Jon re-polished it....Heavy Dogs, jeez is Rene Lapierre coming tomorrow with his Heavy Brigade (Malamutes!)?  - make sure you draw a bib number earlier than his!.

Jon braved the Snow Sea at the Pyramids and there is a defined skidoo track across it - "don't leave the path" (quote from American Werewolf in London - and who knows what seethes under all that snow........"ggerabbed my skidoo and ppppulled it under"). So you're safe as long as you stay on the path.

All good, see you all tomorrow - and remember it's a POTLUCK so bring some FOOD, and DRINK!!!! and be praperd to hang out for while as we have TWO awards presentations!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trail Report Thurs Mar 19th

Firm, firm, firm - Jon's pallet polished the public's skidoo marks to a nice flat sheen this evening; and thank you the skidoo-ing public and the KSA for beating down all that snow. Jon will re-palletise the trail on Saturday evening and all looks good for the 2009 Season Finale -  Icy Waters Ltd Race Day - be there or you'll miss the Chilli! ... and all those athletes hauling their monkeys over the trail!

What will the Weatherperson be wearing this time???

The Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister...where all the cool dogs go

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trail Report!! Icy Waters Race Day, March 22nd

Loads and loads of snow on the trail made it slow on Sunday, but with the sun and plenty of skidoos beating it down the trail could be anything from firm and smooth for our Season Finale - the Icy Waters Ltd Race Day, Sunday 22nd - to firm and ...deep in snow again if it doesn't stop! Jon'll be out packing Thursday and Saturday.

The path through the pyramids to the drop kick turn will be slow though, Jon isn't taking his skidoo through that again. Not after the number of times it slid off the "undersnow ridge" and disappeared into the abysses of snow on either side. This is now officially a "NO PASS ZONE", take it easy across there and don't step off that ridge! However the volumes of snow have made the drop kick turn easier and so far no-one's tried to get their vehicle stuck and burnt out anywhere on the trail.

The League Title, $250 of Yukon Brewing's luverly cash and the marvellously crafted Copper Trophy is a race between Lee Kirpatrick (Draggin' Flies)- needing to win; Kyla Boivin (Doggone Racing Kennel) - needing to come third or higher; and Jon Lucas (Snowpigs), also needing to come third or higher; Tony Radford (also Draggin' Flies) is pretty much guaranteed 4th in the League and $100, whilst Darrell Sheepway (Smokin' Paws) may pick up $50 and fifth if featherweight floater Ailissa Ruekenbach (Huskyteers) isn't back from her Spring Break holiday to volunteer (come on, the Twister is much more important!!).

Most Excellent Race Prizes, in addition to Icy Waters' $$$$, include pain relieving sticks (and the unsuccessful challengers may need one of those - what, them competitive? no no, not a competitive bone in any of them) from J F Latour's Dazhaw Du Chiropractic Clinic; booties, dog collars, and dog jackets from Aurora Booties; Pet treats from C & D Feeds; glass and aluminium packaged T shirts from Yukon Brewing;  T-shirts from Yukon Agriculture Association; Finest and warmest alpaca wool socks from Midnight Sun Alpacas; Dog Food from First Mate Dog Foods; and of course the
League prizes of $1500 dollars of luverly cash from YUKON BREWING!!!

Season Finale - March 22nd - Icy Waters Ltd race day
10.00am Icy Waters Ltd, km 4.2 Fish Lake rd
12 mile Twister, Sled 2-5 dogs, Skis 2-3 dogs
5km 1 pet dog , anything goes so long as the dog is connected to you
5km Kids Race, sleds 2-4 dogs, skis 1-2 dogs

The Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister...where all the cool dogs go

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stuck in a Rut Pooper Scoop

12-Mile Copper Haul
Undaunted by the Truck Track Terror created by a nameless ninny, 16 teams lined up for March's Monster Truck Dog Mush. Snow grains gave way to sunny skies for the 11 a.m. start that saw more skijourers than ever join Cynthia Corriveau, left, to compete against the four-dog teams, like Lee Kirkpatrick's Drag-n-Flies below:

With the trail carved to the axles of a 4x4, teams had no choice but to hobble over 3-4 k of ruts. For Lee the run was more like bobsledding than dogsledding. "My dogs chose to run right in the deepest ruts. It was awful."

Smoking Paws skijorer Darryl Sheepway bounced from ski to ski to navigate. "It wasn't my best time, but it was a really good run," he said. The only hiccup came at the Pyramids when I sent Alexandra Rochet's team ahead - straight into Darryl's leader, Polar. IMPORTANT LESSON FROM THE TRAIL: Before waving on a team, look up to see if the way is clear.

Three dog skijorer Adrian Laydevant had other concerns. "I have a really big strong girl out front!" he hollered at the Pyramids, with his skis horizontal and hauling on his mainline with all his might.

On advice of veteran Twisters, the Kids 5 k was drastically altered to avoid the carvings. Five teams set out for the quarry where they circled back for a short turn. Although Erin Spicer, below, came in faster than a speeding snowmobile to take second...

...Jeff Diment's team, below, shot out of the start chute to bring home the win. Red Lantern winner Larissa Rueckenbach and fourth place finisher Seth Carey tangled in the turnaround, giving Thea Carey third.

Finally, pet dog owners, like Fabian Schmitz, below, ensured Asha and Jonathan Lucas had competition for the Pet Dog 5 k. Destined to finish second in every class this month, the Grizzly Snowpigs gave up first by 37 seconds to Rachel Wider. Congratulations Rachel and Tundra on a great run.

Thanks to the Chocolate Claim for sponsoring the day, and all our generous sponsors; First Mate who donated dog food won by Lucky 13th finisher Debbie Last, C&D Feeds, Yukon Brewing, Dazhaw Du Chiropractic Clinic, host Icy Waters, and Aurora Booties.

Be at Icy Waters, Mile 4 Fish Lake Road, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, for the Twister season finale. And when you send your letter to Doug Hnatiuk supporting gates on the Haul Road, make it public - send it to the papers, too.

Text and Kids photos: Jessica Simon
Twister and Pet Dog photos: Stefan Wackerhagen
posted by yukonwriter

Racing Paces

12-Mile Copper Haul:
Lee Kirkpatrick rounds the Pyramids

Kids 5 k:
Huskyteers out of the chute

5 k Pet Dogs:
Hydro with Rachel Wider and Tundra with Claudia Wickert
crowd out Asha and Jonathan's "sprint" to the finish.
Align Right

Camera: Jessica Simon
posted by yukonwriter

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yukon Brewing League Positions with ONE race to go!!

12 Mile Twister

1 Jon Lucas, Snowpigs, volunteered, 4 race total 30 pts 

2 Kyla Boivin, Doggone Racing, volunteered, 3 race total 26 pts

3 Lee Kirkpatrick, Drag n Fly, volunteered, 2 race total 20 pts

4 Tony Radford, Drag n Fly, volunteered, 2 race total 14 pts

5 Aileena Ruekenbach, Huskyteers (YET TO VOLUNTEER), 3 race total 10 pts

6 Darrel Sheepway, Smokin' Paws, volunteered, 3 race total 8 pts

Therefore to retain the trophy Lee Kirkpatrick has to win the final race - shouldn't be too difficult, she held off Snowpigs' 2 dog skijor team by 13 seconds with a 4 dog sled team and she'll be running 5 next race - unless the "spoilers" (very fast teams that don't compete often enough to be in the league, but nevertheless take points) such as Dave "Tagish Tornado" Johnson and Brian "Marshmallow" MacDougall force Lee to turd place (as Brian politely puts it). Even if Lee wins, Snowpigs can still win out with a second or third - although given last race's performance they'll still be pushing for first. Should Kyla Boivin ever return from the fountains of youth (beer) in Fairbanks she only needs to work with Drag n Fly to finish 4th and keep Snowpigs out of the top three to take the Trophy and Title. Both teams have faster race times than Snowpigs, so if points are equal, Snowpigs loses. Either way, these are the top three teams this season. 

Is that complicated enough? come and see the action on March 22nd and all will become clear!

Aileena Ruekenbach had better have a word with her Father - if he isn't out there volunteering on the 12 mile next race, then "Floating A" is out of the League and Smokin' Paws drops into 5th and a bonus $50 from Yukon Brewing.

Kids League

Jeff Diment is way out in front and uncatchable - Congratulation Jeff! he volunteered out on the 12 mile and will be this season's Kid's League Champion and $125 richer. Better share that with your Mum, Jeff, for all the gas etc, or we'll allot you an arbitary Doug-A-G penalty for next season :) honest.

The fight for second place and $100 from Yukon Brewing is on between Erin Spicer (who's Dad Darrel Otto has volunteered) with 18 points and Larissa Ruekenbach (who's Dad we are certain will be volunteering) with 14 points. Still 3rd brings in a tidy $75.

Pet Dog League

Asha the Rottie has selected her four Firsts for 40 points and wins the League and $125!  Keno the House Husky needs to start and finish the season finale race to pick up second and a tidy $100 from Yukon Brewing.

Stay tuned for more info, updates, trail conditions, and apprently some hulking male Weatherman - the ladies have been complaining!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Another excellent day with a great turn-out. The massive rutting near the start of the trail caused a re-routing and shortening of the Kid's race, and provided thrills (and spills) for the 12 mile Twisters and Pet Dogs!

To support the City in building winter gates at the Copper Haul Trail access points please email, tell him how bad the ruts were (after 2 hours of work) and encourage him to get gates in place for next season.



1 Lee Kirkpatrick Drag n Fly 4 dog sled 54:31
2 Jon Lucas Snowpigs 2 dog skis 54:44
3 Cynthia Corriveau 2 dog skis 59:54
4 Aileena Ruekenbach Huskyteers 4 dog sled 1:00:03
5 Darryl Sheepway Smokin Paws 3 dog skis 1:01:50
6 Adrian Laydevant 3 dog skis 1:02:32
7 Carolyn Campbell Drag n Fly 4 dog sled 1:02:58
8 Christal Bartczak Drag n Fly 4 dog sled 1:10:00
9 Laura Jane Lucas Silver Paw 4 dog sled 1:10:20
10 Amil Dupois-Rossi Smokin Paws 4 dog sled 1:10:25
11 Jill Pangman 2 dog skis 1:11:05
12 Matthieu Renner Minet racing  4 dog sled 1:11:19
13 Debbie Last Windy Ridge 4 dog sled 1:15:18
14 Christy Willet Tamaska 4 dog sled 1:21:13
15 Alexandria Rochet 4 dog sled 1: 28:40
16 Phillipe Bucher Sky High  4 dog sled 1:32:37


1 Rachel Wider Tundra 14:52
2 Jon Lucas Asha 15:29
3 Claudia Wickert Hydro 17:26
4 Fabian Schmitz Appleton 19:25
5 Heather Desmarais Keno 22:46

5km (well, 4km ish) Kids Race 

1 Jeff Diment 4 dog sled 9:17
2 Erin Spicer 3 dog sled 11:23
3 Thea Carey 2 dog sled 11:59
4 Seth Carey 2 dog sled 14:21
5 Larissa Ruekenbach 3 dog sled 22:20 

All the details, photos, and fun to follow!!