Monday, July 1, 2013

Christine; etc

Back at Muk Tuk. Finally the Germans have flown out. But all good fun.

Canada Day today so nearly everything is shut.

Raining now and strong Southerly wind just what we wanted across Lake Labarge, but that did not happen.

Urs and I pulled up well, poor Steve Mooney still having trouble sitting down.
Big prize ceremony about six hundred people.

If you email Harry Kern, ,     he will send a lot more pictures back.
Spoke to Igor at Dawson he has given up photography, now does joinery. He did not look well. no front teeth and very thin. He did not know I was in the race. He sent his regards.
Give my Love to Lissa before she goes.
I fly out day after tomorrow, ie Wednesday the third, in the morning. It is now Monday three in the afternoon.
Love Tom

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Awards banquet at Robert Service School

Sunday, June 30

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Awards banquet at Robert Service School  (NEW LOCATION), 3rd & Queen. Banquet tickets added to racer packets. Extras may be purchased from YRMPA at registration. Catered by Percy De Wolfe Society and Northland Beverages.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hi Tom and Urs here

On Arni's lap top in a dining room some where in Dawson.
Good nights sleep, blisters recovered, shoulders sort of recovered, arms sort of recovered, bum sort of recovered, we will try to find Diana's massage chair.
There is a shop in Dawson that sells all sorts of stuff. The idea is the men sit in the massage chair while the women shop.

We knew the double canoes were faster through the water than us, so we tried all sorts of short cuts to catch number 19 ahead and stay ahead of the canoe behind us. Some short cuts payed off others did not. Off course we can only see about 2 kilometres on the river and then they are only dots. We often caught up to the dots only to find out they were big logs.
We did see the second canoe ahead but thought it might have been the first. Once we were on the straight track to the finish they just powered away out of sight.
Great boat, great company, great land crew.
We are stoked we won the double kayak division by some hours, we will give you the margin when we find out.
Thanks for all the face book support, and others, it realy spured us on and made us forget the pain.
Urs and Tom

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tom Simmat and Urs Mader Team "On the Way to Maine" - 3rd Overall - 1st kayak in the 2013 Yukon River Quest

Urs and Tom have finished 3rd after 2 double canoes. 
24 minutes after the first boat
45 hours 26 minutes overall for 715 kilometres

1st boat "Round Side Down"
 2nd- "Looking for Forty Creek"

3rd "On the Way to Maine

Canoe team catching up to Tom and Urs

I was feeling grumpy because Tom and Urs are letting another team catch them just before the finish. They will probably come in 3rd of 67 boats

So I had a look at the team bios - apart from being much years younger than Urs and Tom they have a good pedigrees

In 1st place Team: 19 Round Side Down mens Tandem Canoe


Tim Lynch
Age: 40
Sex: M
From: Faro, YT, Canada
Bio Marathon Canoe Racing
Wilderness Canoe Trips
YRQ 2012

Dave Lewis
Age: 51
Sex: M
From: Milton, NS, Canada

Bio Marathon Canoe Racing
Wilderness Canoe Trips
YRQ 2012
Aims To experience this amazing event a second time.

In 2nd place Team: 53 Looking For Forty Creek
Gaetan Plourde
Age: 39
Sex: M
From: Perth, ON, Canada
Bio 4.5 x YRQ
Hawkesbury Canoe Classic 2012
Hobart Marathon 2013
Aims Leave nothing on the river.
Reason for Entering Still addicted.

Ian Mockett Age: 40
Sex: M
From: Stittsville, ON, Canada

Bio 2.5 X YRQ'S


Reason for Entering I'M CRAZY

In 3rd place Team: 20 On the Way to Maine mens Tandem Kayak

Tom Simmat
Age: 65
Sex: M
From: Belrose, NSW, Australia

Bio 3 YRQ
1 Yukon 1000
14 HCC 110
6 Murray 400
2 Murray 200
Aims Feed my Yukon addiction

Urs Mader
Age: 60
Sex: M
From: Upper Coomera, NSW, Australia
Bio 10 Hawkesbury River Classics
3 Murray River Marathons

2007 YRQ

4 hours to the finish at Dawson

Urs and Tom - "Team On the Way to Maine" 

are 4 hours from the finish in Dawson in 2nd place, 20 minutes behind the leaders - "Round Side Down". There is another double canoe - "Looking for Forty Creek" 7 minutes behind. 

Over 700 kilometres of paddling for over 40 hours. - Tandem canoe team holds slim lead entering ...


Sports archive for June 27, 2013


Tandem canoe team holds slim lead entering Carmacks

CARMACKS – Two tandem paddling teams continue to battle stroke-for-stroke in the early going of the Yukon River Quest.
The canoe duo holds a seven-minute advantage over the kayak at Carmacks, the first mandatory layover along the race route.
Menʼs tandem canoe Team 19 ʻRound Side Downʼ pulled into the Coal Mine Campground just before 8 a.m. this morning.
Paddler Tim Lynch of Faro and Dave Lewis of Nova Scotia held their early lead over Australians Tom Simmat and Urs Mader of Team 20ʼs ʻOn the Way to Maineʼ after passing them on the river after Lake Laberge.
Menʼs tandem canoe team No. 32 ʻMen of the Midnight Sunʼ was third, arriving at 8:20 a.m.
“Conditions were good,” Lynch told the Star. “It was a little hot yesterday. It kind of made it a long night after Lake Laberge.”
The Yukoner admitted it will be touch to shake the Aussie duo that remained hot on their heels.
“Theyʼre really good,” he said. “But so far, so good. Weʼd like to make it to Dawson.”
Both he and Lewis also competed in the race last year. Things have changed thus far, however, as last year they spent much of the race following in the wake of the womenʼs voyageur team ʻSkirting Disaster.ʼ
“They knew the river and we followed them,” said Lynch. “Weʼre missing them.”
ʻOn the Way to Maineʼ lead paddler Tom Simmat said they werenʼt able to keep pace with the leaders in the fast water past the lake.
The two had exchanged leads a few times before the canoe team took the lead for good about two hours before reaching Carmacks.
“We expected to be in the first two,” Simmat chuckled.
“We actually really expected the voyageurs to be ahead of us,” admitted Mader. “Theyʼre normally in front of us, so thatʼs a surprise.”
A large contingent of volunteers and fans was on hand to welcome the leaders in, after the campground was awakened at 5:15 a.m. by a group of angry crows.
Whoops and cheers went up from the crowd lining the Yukon River each time a canoe or kayak was spotted on the horizon.
Checkpoint in sight, many paddlers appeared reenergized, paddling strong to the small dock where they were greeted by race volunteers.
Many struggled with sea legs while climbing out of their boats, having spent more than 20 straight hours paddling from Whitehorse.
Inuvik paddler Kendall McDonald, from the third-place team, said he was looking forward to a shower, for starters.
He and teammate Tim Gordon entered Carmacks about an hour faster than their time last year.
Paddlers experienced some good luck while crossing the long, and historically perilous, Lake Laberge.
Smooth waters and sunny skies had racers in good spirits early.
Shouts of “Living the dream!” came from a voyageur canoe paddling past the media boat.
“How far to Dawson?” queried another.
One of the paddlers near the back of the pack even offered $15 for a cold Yukon Gold lager – a request the media boat could not fulfill.
“It was a breeze,” said Mader, who last endured stormy waters on the lake during the 2007 race. “It wasnʼt cold at all. It was calm. Flat as anything.”
Two tourists paddling the lake in a canoe with gear including a guitar and a fishing rod ended up getting some unwanted attention when they ventured across the lake in the midst
Conversations around the checkpoint dealt with the quick tandem canoe and kayak times during the first half of the race.
Typically, the race is led by the eight- or 10-manpower voyageur canoes, but not so this year. The first four teams into Carmacks were tandem teams.
“The whole scope has changed this year,” said longtime race media coordinator Jeff Brady.
“It used to be voyageurs, voyageurs, voyageurs.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Arrived at Carmacks in second position

First two teams into Carmacks. Round Side Down in at 07:59 followed by On the Way to Maine at 08:06. Paddlers look great. 
20 hours of continuous paddling to get to Carmacks, 7 hour stop then off to Kirkman's Creek for a 3 hour stop and then on to the finish in Dawson - 750 kilometres
Five Finger Rapids next
Arriving at Carmacks after 20 hours of continuous paddling
Add caption
Very difficult getting out of the boat, very strong current. Tom ended up in the water in 2007

Tom with Sheila Dodd. She runs the checkpoint at Carmacks. We met her the first time we went to the Yukon

Tom looks like he needs a sleep.
 LCRK hat is still looking good.

Urs and Tom leading the Yukon River Quest 2013

Follow the race on Google Earth

The checkpoint at Policeman's Point
The canoe "Round Side Up" having a nice wash-ride down the river behind our boys - passing the Policeman's Point checkpoint

Urs and Tom seems to be paddling very well together

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yukon Quest 2013 - Urs and Tom in first place going into lake Laberge

IT'S RACE DAY!!! - We will start with 62 teams today. Unfortunately, lost a couple teams to some accidents in route and 3 others did not show. Teams are getting their boats to the launch area this morning. Photos coming shortly. Let's all gather down by the river for the noon start!!!

 The scrutineers checking safety gear
 Where will Tom and Urs stow everything?
I hope they don't need anything
 With the ladies as usual, because I'm not there.

  The river is high so there is not much beach

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Registration Day - tomorrow the race begins

"Hi Christine, 
Very pressed for time this year. Too short to prepare but c'est la vie. Will update FB later tonight. All good, scrutineering done, now at race briefing then packing , sleeping and have to be at checkin at 8.30. 
Cheers for now - more later but soon. "
Arni Urs Maderposted toOn the way to Maine...
Scrutineering went smoothly. Just had dinner at Georgio's and now final packing and sorting for the big day tomorrow. The river is very high so only one person per boat allowed to hold it as there is hardly any beach. We have to line up at 8am! Start at 12noon. Weather forecast very hot but probably thunderstorms. The ferry trip up was breathtaking. Tom picked us up at Skagway. Such a gorgeous place. Had dinner there then drive to Whitehorse and saw our first bear hooray. Saw lots of whales, dolphins, seals, sea otters etc on the ferry trip. Just couldn't have been better. Walked the 7 1/2 m kayak on and off - big help that Penny and Evelin were there.


2013 Yukon River Quest Race Schedule

Saturday, June 1

Icebreaker Race: Marsh Lake dam toSchwatka Lake (28 km)
The annual Icebreaker Race will be held on Saturday, June 1. The Icebreaker is a 28 kilometre race from Marsh Lake dam to Schwatka Lake. Register at the Schwatka Lake parking lot beginning at 9 a.m. sharp to allow ample time to have your boat measured by the YRQ practice squad and loaded up for the shuttle. The shuttle leaves the parking lot promptly at 10 a.m. This is a good opportunity for local paddlers and new racers to meet YRQ veterans and get some tips.
Hosted by Yukon Canoe & Kayak Club and Sponsored by Up North Adventures. (SO SORRY, THIS EVENT WAS CANCELLED THIS YEAR, HOPEFULLY WILL HAPPEN NEXT YEAR)
There also are WEEKLY RACES every Thursday leading up to the race at 7 p.m. on Schwatka Lake (May) or Chadburn Lake (June). YRQ veterans will be available to offer tips before each race.

Saturday, June 22

Afternoon – Yukon River training run : Whitehorse-Burma (30 kms.)
Put-in next to Kanoe People at 1st and Strickland. Free shuttle available for registered racers at Burma Road pullout at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. to bring teams and boats back to Whitehorse.
Sponsored by Kanoe People.

Monday, June 24

Afternoon – Yukon River training run : Whitehorse-Takhini (20 kms.)
Put-in next to Kanoe People at 1st and Strickland. Free shuttle available for registered racers at Takhini River pullout at 1 and 4 p.m. to bring teams and boats back to Whitehorse.
Sponsored by Kanoe People.
6-9 p.m. – YRQ Meet & Greet welcoming reception at the MacBride Museum , 1st and Wood. Appetizers available. Free museum access, race DVD presentations.

Tuesday, June 25

11 am -2:30 p.m. – Registration, Boat Measuring and Gear Inspection on lawn behind Yukon Visitor Information Centre, 1st & Hanson. Hosted by Yukon Tourism & Culture with beverages Sponsored by Northland Beverages/Aquafina
3:00-3:45 p.m. – Mandatory pre-race briefing for All Support Crews in Yukon Visitor Information Centre theatre.
4:00-4:45 p.m. – Mandatory pre-race briefing for All Voyageur Teams in Yukon Visitor Information Centre theatre.
5:00-5:45 p.m. – Mandatory pre-race briefing for All Solo and Tandem Teams in Yukon Visitor Information Centre theatre.

Wednesday, June 26

7:30-10:30 a.m. – Positioning of boats & final inspections at Rotary Park.
IMPORTANT –Volunteers will be coordinating vehicle access to avoid congestion.
Voyageurs will be launched and moved to their starting locations on the river beginning
at 7:30 a.m. Then solo and tandem boats will be lined up by groups of numbers every
half hour in their shore launch positions per the schedule below. After boat/gear are in
place and vehicle is moved, then there will be a final inspection.
Voyageurs (by number) 7:30-8:30 am - launch in river, move to starting spot downriver.
Solo and Tandem canoes and kayaks – lined up by number on shore as directed by volunteers:
#1-25 8:30-9 am
#26-50 9-9:30 am
#51-71 9:30-10 am
11:30 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction of Teams – All teams need to be at starting line under YRQ banner in middle of Rotary Park at 11:30 a.m. Pre-start includes brief speeches by Yukon dignitaries and all teams are introduced along with their bib sponsors at the starting line. Hosted by City of Whitehorse Parks Dept.
12 Noon – Start of 2013 Yukon River Quest – Listen for the SS Klondike whistle or race horn.
Teams run from the banner to the Canada Trail and down to the launch area. Each
team may have 1 support person assisting them for the launch. Great views of teams
on river downtown, and at Takhini River, Burma Rd., and Policeman’s Pt. checkpoint.

Thursday, June 27

2:00 a.m. – Teams must be by CP3 Lower Lake Laberge to remain in the race.
6:00 a.m. – Carmacks checkpoint opens at Coal Mine Campground, about 2K past the bridge (for drivers), on the right just before the Campbell Hwy. intersection.

Friday, June 28

6:00 a.m. – Carmacks checkpoint closes. All teams in race must depart by this
12 noon – Dawson City Finish Line checkpoint opens on Yukon River dike between gazebo and historic CIBC bank building. After teams finish, they will be directed to docking area downstream on the right.

Saturday, June 29

Evening – Diamond Tooth Gerties (1 drink ticket for each racer), sponsored by Klondike
Visitors Association, 4th and Queen.
11:59 p.m. (or sooner) – Dawson Checkpoint Closes. Cut-off time for official finish is 11:59 p.m. Checkpoint will shut down at midnight or earlier.

Sunday, June 30

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Awards banquet at Robert Service School  (NEW LOCATION), 3rd & Queen. Banquet tickets added to racer packets. Extras may be purchased from YRMPA at registration. Catered by Percy De Wolfe Society and Northland Beverages.


Yukon River Quest 2007

Lynton, Pete, Steve, Urs, Mark

Liz, Tom, Katrina, Christine, Arni

2 single kayaks Urs and Tom - 1 double kayak Pete and Steve

We all stayed in the B and B in the background in Whitehorse and the landcrew travelled in convoy in 3 cars. Great fun was had by all.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Off to Scagway to collect Arnie and Urs

"Yesterday, Sunday here, nothing open in town, spent the day sorting out the gear and food for the race. Put target times on the maps. The higher river means a fast race so I shortened the target times a little.

Frank had a full house yesterday with lots of tour groups and a chinese film crew last night.

Very hot now, must be over  degrees.

They had a late melt and now this hot weather has accelerated the melt hence the high river levels.

Going to scagway today to pick up the boat and Urs and Arni.

I will try and open internet in town."
Love Tom

Tom is referring to Mike Rourke's river maps and Topographical maps which he bought online from Mac's Fireweed Books in Whitehorse 

From 2010 BLOG for the YUKON1000.....

 "What is critical racing on a river as fast as this is knowing where you are. Finding the fast water and the shortcuts. Paddle smart and you don't have to paddle hard. There are 110 maps, each map covers 15 to 20 kilometers. About an hours paddling. I am reducing them to A5 size, to make them manageable on my lap, putting them into sets and getting them laminated and bound, At some points in the river the river basin is 10 kilometers across, with 6 or 7 different channels and the best channel up to a kilometer wide.
Taking the wrong channel will find us in very slow water. So I am clearly marking the way through with the fastest channel. Which is not necessarily the widest.

I was able to use my times on the river in the three times I did the Yukon River Quest, at 760 kilometers that is less than half this race, but I have also used as a comparison the times of last years competitors, and in particular for the second half. So to navigate we will use both time distance down the river from known points, as well as way-points, Latitude and longitude. So I know where we should be time wise the whole race. Provided we can maintain those speeds.

One critical time on the river is Lake Laberge. Lake Laberge is only about 2 hrs after the start, it is about 4 kilometers wide and 50 kilometers long. The other end of the lake is well and truly over the horizon and it can get very rough. As an idea this part of the race is equal to about two Twenty Beaches races or about the same length as the Molokai . If the wind is against you as it was for me in 2005 it can take 7 hours. In 2006 it was behind me and I surfed the lake for 4 hours with the GPS often clicking at 18 k/h. So that 3 hours difference may put my ETAs way out."

Tom leaves Muktuk today to stay in town with Arnie and Urs. When he returns from Dawson after the race he will stay at Muktuk again for 2 days.

 This German backpacker took a shine to Tom in 2010.

 The main house at Muktuk. 
Tom would be sleeping in the upstairs room at the back left, with a view of the river.
 Sled dog training wheel for winter.
 You can see why Tom and Frank are mates. Frank was until recently a competitor in the 1000 mile Yukon Quest dog race.
Still having problems getting teams Spots up to speed. Besides the list of people from whom I have yet to receive any messages, there are all those teams from whom I have not received any messages in Whitehorse.
If you move any GPS a long way, it takes it a while to figure out where it is, and the Spots are low power devices and it takes them longer than most. I have seen them take 6 hours to work it out.
Teams MUST set their devices to track and leave them on today and tomorrow. Then put in new batteries for the race.
I want to see those tracks. You will not pass Tuesday's inspection without them.
  • Yukon River Quest Teams with no Spots registered with the race:
    4, 23,25,26,27,49,64
    Teams with Spots registered but no data ever received:
    Teams from whom I have not received a track near Whitehorse:
    ...See More
  • Yukon River Quest If a your boat shows up on the race tracker page in or near Whitehorse, you are good. I will be "talking to" all the non-compliant teams Monday Evening. Oh, and 61 is one of the good guys. The good guys outnumber the not so good guys, but only just.
  • Leigh Merritt done and done, sorry didn't realize we weren't tracking. Thanks Ryerson Clark for the text!
  • Ali Morham Peter is there a way to find out if a team has passed for sure? Ie has team 61?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Staying at Muktuk with 3 cooked meals a day

"Cannot open up emails using for some reason, any how not from Frank's computor.

Anyhow, hope you got yesterdays email.

I also sent out a spot signal.

Had a paddle yesterday down to Raymond's Landing. All the rivers are very very high. The Tekhini where we put in at Franks  last time is about 2 meters higher so you can even get down that track that led to the water.

This means we will have a very fast race.

Did food shopping and I am getting the gear organized.

Things seem expensive in Canadian Tyre. Cheapest tent over $200. 10 times what I paid in Australia.

Mosquitoes are unbelievable, so walks are difficult.

Had Franks pancakes this morning.

I will try and log on to emails in town this afternoon.

Go to Skagway tomorrow to pick up Urs. About a 3 hour drive. I will take my time and take lots of Photos.

Love Tom"

As well as caring for sled dogs. Muktuk has cabins and bed and breakfast accommodation with 3 meals a day included. Ideal place to prepare  for the race. Plenty of space and interested helpers with tools. 

Arnie had booked accommodation in a hotel in town from 24th June when Urs and Arnie arrive, but Tom is taking the opportunity to stay with Frank at Muktuk until he collects them from Skagway.
There is kayak access to the Tekhini River from Muktuk which flows into the Yukon. 
Working on the Horizon Flyer in 2010 at Muktuk
Steve and Tom entering the Tekhini in 2010 from Muktuk, the river is now 2 metres higher

The cabin Pip and Steve stayed in. Tom and I had a room in the main house