Registration filling up for Yukon River Quest

After a staggered start to registration this month, spaces for the upcoming 2022 Yukon River Quest are rapidly filling up.

As of Nov. 16, 2021, a total of 133 teams have signed up to compete next summer in the 715-kilometre race, leaving just 17 spaces before would-be racers will need to join the waiting list.

Rather than have all boats eligible to register simultaneously, the sign-up process began with large boats (voyageur and C4 canoes) on Nov. 1, tandem boats on Nov. 8, and solo paddlers on Nov. 15. Unlike previous years, there is a limit of 20 voyageur canoes and 75 solo craft in addition to the 150-team overall limit.

Teams must pay a $50 deposit to register for the race, rather than a larger fee as in past years

In a press release last month, Peter Coates, president of the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association, said the changes are to give more flexibility in the event of changes.

“The assumption is that things will be clearer in the spring and we will ask for the full race fee then,” Coates said. “We do not want to be in the position we were in 2020 where we had to refund race fees to lots of teams.”

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 race and flooding forced the cancellation of the 2021 race, interest in the race shows no signs of waning. A total of 117 started the race in 2019, the last time it was held.

Other changes to the race for 2022 include increased entry fees, a two-stage start in Whitehorse, a relocated mandatory stop, and changes to the tracking device rules.

The 2022 Yukon River Quest is scheduled to begin on June 22, 2022.

For more information on the race or to register, visit the Yukon River Quest website.