21 Mushers Enter on Opening Day for 2009 Yukon Quest

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2008 WHITEHORSE, YT & FAIRBANKS, AK – As of Monday afternoon, a total of 22 teams have officially entered the 2009 Yukon Quest. 21 Entries were processed this past Saturday on Opening Day, and both Whitehorse and Fairbanks offices saw several mushers come by in person to enter the race. Reigning Champion Lance Mackey and 1984 Champion Sonny Lindner joined the field of mushers that include Alaskan veterans David Sawatsky, Wayne Hall, Brent Sass and Jon Little. Yukon veteran Kyla Boivin as well as several rookie mushers registered in the Whitehorse office. A strong showing of 9 rookie entrants including 4-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser and Jamaican musher Newton Marshall, the first Jamaican to ever enter the Yukon Quest, will make for an interesting race. “It is an impressive line-up already,” shared Stephen Reynolds, Executive Director of the Yukon Quest in Canada, “if we started today, it would be a great race. 21 Entrants on Opening Day is a good sign and we are pleased with today’s turnout. We certainly appreciate all the mushers’ efforts to sign-up on Opening Day and we look forward to more mushers joining us for the 2009 Yukon Quest in the weeks and months ahead.” The Opening Day Early Incentive prize will be drawn Friday August 15th to allow time for any post-dated mail-in entries to be received. The musher whose name is randomly drawn from all Opening Day entries will have their $1,000 Entry Fee refunded. “This is one of the strongest Opening Day registrations the Yukon Quest has seen in many years,” continued Reynolds, “and a good indication of how the off-season changes are encouraging mushers to run the Yukon Quest. We even had two teams racing to be the first to sign-up, and I can’t remember that ever happening before.” Brent Sass in Fairbanks and a representative of the Jamaica Dog Sled Team in Whitehorse both camped out in the early hours of Saturday morning, before either office opened. “We didn’t prepare ourselves for a race to sign-up,” admitted Reynolds, “and both mushers went home thinking they were first to enter.” But the mushers agreed to flip a coin at the Start Banquet to determine who will be first to draw their starting number. “What a great ‘problem’ to have,” said Reynolds, “mushers competing to enter the Yukon Quest!”

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