Update, 1:05pm Monday:
Brent Sass has won the 2019 Yukon Quest, according to a live video posted on the official Yukon Quest Facebook page. More details will follow this afternoon on KNOM (780 AM / 96.1 FM) and here on knom.org.
(original story as of 12:00pm Monday)
The Yukon Quest 1,000-mile sled dog race will see its winner at any moment, as Brent Sass quickly makes his way to the finish line in Fairbanks. He’s currently just under 6 miles away, going at a steady pace of around 7 miles per hour, according to the GPS tracker. He checked out of the final checkpoint at Two Rivers at 2:53 this morning, after taking his mandatory 8-hour layover.
It’s looking pretty clear that Sass will finish first: there are about 12 miles between him and second position musher Hans Gatt. Assuming Sass does cross the finish line first, this will be his second Quest win: he came in first back in 2015. He’s finished the race in the top 5 a total of five times, and as a Quest rookie back in 2007, he came in 15th place.
He scratched in 2017 and took a break from the Quest last year. It looks like the time off has served him well: he will likely cross the finish line in Fairbanks at any moment.
Right behind Sass, Hans Gatt and Allen Moore are neck-and-neck, vying for second place. Allen Moore officially holds second position, according to the leaderboard: he checked out of Two Rivers at 4:32 this morning. Gatt checked out around 45 minutes later at 5:13. But the GPS tracker shows Hans Gatt to have passed Moore up, despite his leaving slightly later.
What’s fairly certain, though, is Brent Sass will become this year’s Yukon Quest champion — with just about 5.5 miles until he reaches Fairbanks.
Tune into KNOM at 5pm today for one more detailed Yukon Quest update.
Image at top: file photo: Brent Sass at the White Mountain checkpoint in Iditarod 2016. Photo: Zachariah Hughes, KSKA/Alaska Public Media.