By Lilly Milman
Two teams featuring Skagway residents placed second in their respective categories — Mixed C4 and Women’s Voyageur — in the 444-mile Yukon River Quest race from Whitehorse to Dawson.
Both teams received cash prizes from the total purse of $53,632 Canadian, the largest ever. A record 290 racers signed up with 124 teams for the 21st annual Yukon Territory river race. The race started on June 26 with the overall winning team, a duo from Saskatchewan, taking just under 45 hours, arriving in Dawson on June 28.
Sam Best represented Skagway in the Mixed C4 class, for canoe teams comprised of two men and two women. His team, Trois Riveres, received a prize of $750 and finished with a time of 54:36.22, about seven hours after the winning team in the class.
In the overall C4 class, Trois Riveres finished fifth. The team placed 22nd in the overall race.
In the Women’s Voyageur class, reserved for teams of six women or more, three Skagway women paddled with The Wild Irises team, which earned a prize of $1,125. Team captain Stephanie Ryan, Nicole Kovacs and Briana Agenbroad each came to the race with a long list of experiences in river trips. Ryan competed in the 2014 Yukon River Quest, while Kovacs and Agenbroad both spent time as guides in Southeastern Alaska.
The Wild Irises finished about four and a half hours after the winning team in their class, with a time of 57:25.23. They were the sixth Voyageur team to finish and placed 32nd in the overall race.