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Gerry Willomitzer Scratches

text by David Dodman; photo by Ben Matheson

Gerry Willomitzer

Gerry Willomitzer on Saturday. The Canadian musher scratched at the McGrath checkpoint late Wednesday morning.

The number of scratches in Iditarod 39 now stands at six, with the departure of veteran musher Gerry Willomitzer from the race late Wednesday morning.

According to Iditarod’s official Eye on the Trail, Willomitzer scratched in McGrath at 11am Wednesday with 12 dogs in his team. The decision came after “assessing his team overnight” in the checkpoint; Willomitzer had arrived in McGrath at 10:12pm Tuesday night.

Willomitzer now joins a set of five veteran mushers – among them, Paul Gebhardt and Nome’s Melissa Owens – who have left Iditarod 2011. Only one of the six scratches to date has been a rookie (Bob Storey, who scratched in Rainy Pass early Wednesday).

As of 4:12pm Wednesday, 56 mushers remain in Iditarod 39.