Junior Yukon Quest Cancelled

Due to a limited number of entrants, the Junior Yukon Quest Race Committee has cancelled the 2007 Junior Yukon Quest. The organization is disappointed, but is already showing their commitment to a strong 2008 Junior Yukon Quest. Shortly after making the decision, the committee renewed their reservations at halfway point, Twin Bears Camp, and began finalizing the 2008 Junior Yukon Quest Rules. Junior Race Committee Chair, Donna Olesen cites a number of compounding reasons for the low turnout. ‘This year saw a large number of our perennial mushers turn 18 and graduate to adult racing. As one of the primary goals of the race, we were excited for these mushers. However, it left us with a gap in our population.’ This attrition created the need for additional efforts to bring a new crop of Junior mushers to the race, however the Race Committee ran into two slow downs. First, the committee decided to revise the route to respond to feedback from the young mushing community and race officials for shorter runs and more skill building opportunities. Problems defining a revised trail delayed release of the 2007 Junior Race Rules. In addition, technical delays integrating the Junior Yukon Quest website into the main Yukon Quest site resulted in progress reports and information not reaching the target population. Olesen explains, ‘This year we couldn’t get the rules changed and the website finalized early enough for the youth to plan adequately. For that we are sorry and hope that they will join with our committee as we move forward with the development of the 2008 race.” ‘This is a heart breaker for all of us,’ Executive Director, Julie Estey adds, ‘We are committed to building our youth mushing program and will support the Junior Race Committee in whatever way possible to achieve that growth for the 2008 Junior Yukon Quest and beyond.’

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