“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon 22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

Dedicated to the memory of Ingrid Wilcox – Paddle On!

Ingrid’s favorite race photo of her paddling in 2011 with a lake sunset, image by Harry Kern

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon 22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

Dedicated to the memory of Ingrid Wilcox – Paddle On!

Ingrid’s favorite race photo of her paddling in 2011 with a lake sunset, image by Harry Kern

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

“Race to the Midnight Sun”

World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon22nd annual YRQ • June 23-26, 2021

Welcome to the official Yukon River Quest web site. The Yukon River Quest is an annual marathon paddling race. Paddlers come from around the world to test their endurance, racing day and night to the Klondike on one of North America’s great rivers. It is open to solo and tandem canoes and kayaks, solo stand-up paddle boards (SUP0, and bigger C4 and Voyageur canoes. Please fully explore our site for information on how to participate in this great event, whether as a racer, a member of a support crew, or as a volunteer. The Yukon River passes through Five First Nations on our race route: Kwanlin Dun, Ta’an Kwachan Council, Little Salmon/Carmacks, Selkirk, and Trondek Hwechin. Our race honours their culture and those who have lived off the river and nurtured it for centuries. For an in-depth account of Yukon First Peoples, read this ECHO (Ethnographic, Cultural, Historical Overview) handbook.

IT’S RACE WEEK! 
Check out the RACE SCHEDULE (updated 6/17/21).
The annual YRQ race supplement is out in the Friday June 18 Whitehorse Star, and Final Registration for teams (by appointment) began Saturday behind the Yukon Visitor Centre and will continue on Sunday and Monday from 10 to 2. Bibs and boat decals with team numbers will be handed out and boats and gear will be inspected, with everyone masked up in their team bubbles and distanced from others. There also are training runs happening on the river, though no shuttles are being provided, sorry, and there is no meet & greet this year. Racers have already attended briefings via Zoom and will be ready to get their boats to the start line on the river Wednesday morning. Teams will not run to their boats this year. They will be distanced down the road and released every 15 seconds starting at 12 noon. Viewing the race from the riverfront in Whitehorse should still be great (keeping the safe 6 and masked), but if you can’t make it, CKRW-THE RUSH will be airing the YRQ Start on Facebook Live
 
After the start, follow the teams on our RACE TRACKER (courtesy of race sponsor Yukon 1000 Tracking Software) and listen to THE RUSH for reports a couple times daily from Eva Holland, our voice on the river. She also will be doing Instagram and Facebook posts to keep you up-to-date and we will be posting as many photos as we can. 
 
June 17, 2021: Statement on the current COVID situation in the Yukon as it relates to the upcoming race: “The YRQ is aware that the Yukon has an uprising of COVID cases and some have expressed concerns about the upcoming race. We value these concerns and our strong relationships in the Yukon. As such, we brought these concerns to the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his team for review of the event and our COVID plan. At this time, the YRQ is still supported as it is a LOW RISK event and we have an adequate plan in place. To reemphasize an aspect of our plan which is the importance being able to adapt to changing situations – we ask that paddlers and their support be respectful of locals while in Carmacks, Minto and Dawson, keeping the safe six, and avoiding congregating in areas such as a local stores or places where there is lots of foot traffic, etc. We are also going to cancel our outdoor awards ceremony in Dawson on Sunday, June 27, and ask our paddlers and their support to leave Dawson after completion of their race as soon as possible (after they have rested and are safe to do so). Thank you and stay safe everyone.” – YRMPA Board
 
June 3 revised team breakdown:  48 teams fully registered, and most of them are Yukon-based. :
Full race (41) – C4: 1 women’s, 1 mixed, 3 men’s; C1: 1 women’s, 1 men’s; K1: 3 women’s, 5 men’s; SUP: 3 men’s; C2: 1 women’s, 7 mixed, 7 men’s; K2: 0; VC: 3 women’s, 3 mixed, 2 men’s.

Half race (7) – K1: 1 women’s;  C2: 3 mixed, 1 men’s, 1 women’s; K2: 1 mixed.

Above list will be updated after final registration is completed and we know the final team count. 

View registered team bios in RACER LIST . A pre-race PRESS RELEASE was posted earlier this month.  In addition, the 2021 Racer & Support Crew Briefing is available to download on the Racer Briefing and Support Crew pages.
 
After not having a race in 2020, we announced that we would have a 2021 event and registration began on February 14. Regrettably, due to COVID-19 health mandates and travel restrictions, we could accept only Canadian teams for the 2021 race field.  We have a COVID plan approved by Yukon Health officials to run a safe race. There also will be a new Half Quest this year from Whitehorse to Carmacks. 

CURRENT COVID HEALTH & TRAVEL MANDATES:  Check them often as they can change weekly. As of May 25th, non-Yukon Canadian paddlers and support crews that are FULLY VACCINATED will not have to isolate for 14 days upon arrival. If you cannot show proof of vaccination 14 days before your arrival, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. See details and updates in the Yukon health link below.

YUKON: https://yukon.ca/en/covid-19-information

 CANADA: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

BE PREPARED – THIS IS A TOUGH WILDERNESS PADDLING RACE! READ RULES & RACER GUIDE: Become familiar with the full YRQ RULES. and the new HALF QUEST RULES. Note: These COVID Rules are subject to change as we get closer to the race. Read the Preamble about what you will experience out there, and how to prepare for this tough wilderness race.  Also check out the new RACER GUIDE and various items under the RULES & PREPARATION drop-down menu above, such as following best practices on the river and while camping, how much food and fluids are needed to sustain you in a long river race, and other essential tips to help you finish; racer and support crew briefings (they will be updated in spring); and our FAQs to learn more about navigation, insurance requirements, support at Carmacks, how to get back from Dawson, and more. Support crews need to become familiar with all of this information to help your team prepare and stay safe! Check out the SUPPORT link above.

PREVIOUS RACE REVIEW: RECORD FIELD IN 2019! – A record 117 teams started the 21st annual YRQ at noon on Wednesday, June 26, and 86 teams finished by 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 30.  A total of 31 teams (26.5%) scratched during the race (an additional team withdrew just before the start). Most of the scratches were in Carmacks, as several teams were fatigued and/or unable to make the cutoff time there on the evening of June 27. Only 3 teams scratched past Carmacks. Thirteen countries were represented: Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Norway (new), United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Papua New Guinea (new), France, Austria, and Ireland. Pull up 2019 Results and replay the race on our RACE TRACKER page, courtesy of Yukon 1000 Software, and see photos in our GALLERY and posted on our YRQ FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM pages. Read our AWARDS PRESS RELEASE.  There was no race in 2020 due to COVID.

VOLUNTEERS – LIFEBLOOD OF THE YRQ:   This race does not happen without our great volunteers, nearly 200 of them! Want to get involved for the 2021 race? Sign in on our new VOLUNTEER page and then view the different jobs available. It’s never too early or too late to volunteer, and it’s fun!  If you do enough time with us, you will get a shirt, and see your name in a big THANK YOU AD in the Whitehorse Star later this summer. And PLEASE THANK OUR VOLUNTEERS WHEN YOU SEE THEM. THEY ARE THERE TO HELP!

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS – SUPPORT THE YRQ:  We have a lot of great sponsors who help us immensely in making this a great race. Please view our SPONSOR PAGE for a list of everyone big and small, including this past year’s BIB SPONSORS!  We have several sponsorship levels to show your support for the race. Our Sponsorship packet and provisions are currently under revision and should be available some time this winter.

BECOME A MEMBER OF YRMPA: Join the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association for just $20 a year (adults) or $10 a year (juniors 18 & under) by clicking on the Membership photo button above. Email the race office for details or attend our next AGM and consider joining the YRMPA Board to help us plan the race. Meetings are monthly most of the year, and more frequent the two months before the race. See our current board & executive and read our new Vision, Values and Mission statements on our ABOUT US page. 

YRMPA BOARD NEWS:  Our AGM was December 10, 2020 (see report below).  UPCOMING MEETINGS (via Zoom):  Race Operations Committee June 14 at 5:30 PM; Board Meeting June 16 at 5:30 PM; Final paddler/support briefing June 17 at 7:30 PM.

AGM REPORT: NEW BOARD ELECTED – Our AGM was December 10, 2020 via Zoom. More than 20 members were present via Zoom to approve a new set of Bylaws per updates required of all Yukon Societies this year, including the elimination of life memberships unfortunately (the board will notify previous ‘lifers’ re. how we will pro-rate their membership). The membership elected the following slate of 10 directors: Al Foster, Jeff Brady, Peter Coates, Spencer Edelman, Lidwein Hanrath, Deb Bartlette, Stephen Mooney, Anne Jessup, Christa Van Laerhoven, and Stan Fordyce. The year-end financial report was approved accounting for a move of registration income to the 2021 year since there was no race in 2020, and Coates gave a detailed president’s report on the state of the event and plans for next year (hopefully with COVID in the backwash, but we will be ready to deal with whatever its presence requires). Following the AGM, there was a brief regular board meeting to select the executive, which will remain the same four board members to maintain a smooth transition in this unusual year. Coates will serve a third year as President, and Hanreth will again be Treasurer. Switching offices are Edelman who will be the new Vice President and Bartlette who will be the new Secretary.

If you have questions for the board, email info@yukonriverquest.com. 

22nd Yukon River Quest set to start in modified race

22nd Yukon River Quest set to start in modified race. This year's COVID-adapted event will see 48 teams "Race to the Midnight Sun" By YRQ MEDIA – The race roster is set for the 22nd Yukon River Quest, which will begin on Wednesday, June 23 in Whitehorse, Yukon...

read more

Registration opens Feb. 14 for 22nd Yukon River Quest

Yukon and other Canadian teams invited to register for COVID-adapted "Race to the Midnight Sun" and new Half Quest on June 23-26, 2021. WHITEHORSE, YUKON – Registrations will be accepted beginningFebruary 14, 2021 for the 22nd Yukon River Quest (YRQ), which will be...

read more