Golden Moments from the Yukon River Quest

Skagway Alpine Club team finishes race long before banner goes down

‘The Old Guys’ prevail

The Skagway Alpine Club team of John D. O’Daniel and Steve Parsons placed twenty-third out of 36 teams in the 2002 Yukon River Quest from Whitehorse to Dawson City.
The fourth annual canoe and kayak race, which grew out of the 1997-98 Dyea to Dawson centennial races, was won by “The Old Guys,” Bob Vincent of Ontario and Bob Bradford of Michigan, both 59, in 55 hours, 22 minutes.
The race started just after noon on Thursday, June 27, and the top teams finished on Saturday night.
The Skagway team completed the 460-mile journey in 82 hours, 26 minutes, arriving in Dawson on Sunday night, just in time to fit in a late dinner and last call.
O’Daniel and Parsons fared well, despite some nagging canoe seat sores. They saved their energy with a few additional rest stops other than the mandatory ones in Carmacks and Minto, and even got to wait out a thunderstorm for an hour in historic Fort Selkirk.
They had hoped to be in Dawson in 72 hours, but they easily made it to the heart of the Klondike before the race banner came down on Monday afternoon, and enjoyed the steak feed and awards ceremony. O’Daniel has it all on video, and complete race results are at www.polarcom.com/~riverquest/Results2002.html. – JB

Photos by Jeff Brady

Special thanks to Haywire Industries and Harry Kern for the ride in his safety boat

From top, “The Old Guys” paddle fast into the sunset after leaving Minto; racers take off LeMans-style from downtown Whitehorse; Parsons is rudely awakened from his final cat nap by photographers about 50 miles from Dawson; O’Daniel polishes off the last of his fuel, a jalapeno popper; the Alpine Club team looks fresh early in the race on Lake Laberge; and Parsons points to the team’s place on the leader board while O’Daniel adjusts his jeans to cover his seat sores.