Brent Sass

Brent Sass / Wild and Free Mushing

The Sockeye Fire caused evacuation of hundreds of sled dogs from Willow area kennels earlier this month, and now new fires have forced movement of huskies from a remote kennel north of Fairbanks. KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.

2015 Yukon Quest Mushers Celebrate at Awards Banquet

Feb 23, 2015

Fairbanks, AK - Mushers, fans and member of the race organization gathered for the 2015 Yukon Quest awards banquet Saturday Night. It was a night to share stories, reflect on this year’s race and recognize exemplary performance.

Brent Sass Wins 2015 Yukon Quest

Feb 17, 2015

Fairbanks, AK - The bells of the historic Immaculate Conception Cathedral in downtown Fairbanks rang in honor of legendary musher George Attla who died this week as Eureka musher Brent Sass cruised across the finish line to win this year’s Yukon Quest. As KUAC’s Emily Schwing reports, Sass has been trying to win the Quest for years.  This year, he gave up a ten hour lead to two-time defending champion Allen Moore, who refused to give up easily. 

Pat Kane / Yukon Quest

Mile 101, Steese Hwy, AK - The race for the finish line is on after Brent Sass gave up a 10-hour lead Sunday on Allen Moore’s dog team. The top two Yukon Quest mushers will layover for a mandatory eight hours after they arrive in Two Rivers, the last checkpoint on the trail.

It was early morning when Allen Moore met up with a Yukon Quest trailbreaker as he drove his team down the meandering trail on Birch Creek. “I met him head-on when I was running his morning and he said Brent had a bit of a problem and I would probably catch him because he was till walking,” said Moore.

Handlers scramble to set up camp for Dawson layover

Feb 12, 2015
Emily Schwing / KUAC

Dawson City, YK - After Yukon Quest mushers arrive in Dawson City, they drive their teams head across the Yukon River to a public campground, where handlers build elaborate camps for the dogs. They’ll get massaged, fed and sleep during the 24 hour layover.

Brent Sass had his dog team lined out and waiting to leave the dog camp more than a half hour early. “I’m a little anxious, because it’s a lot easier once you get out on the trail,” said Sass. “This is like before that big game.”

Julien Schroder / Yukon Quest

  Dawson City, AK - The top Yukon Quest mushers have been arriving in Dawson City all night. The trail to the race’s halfway point has been rough, but mushers know the Alaska side of the trail could be even tougher and there’s plenty more racing to be done.

Eureka musher Brent Sass has a six-hour lead. He also stands to win a little extra prize money. If he crosses the finish line in Fairbanks, Sass will win the Dawson award: four ounces of gold, valued at roughly six thousand dollars. 

Emily Schwing / KUAC

  Dawson City, YK - Brent Sass was the first Yukon Quest musher to arrive today in Dawson City, the halfway point on the Yukon Quest trail. 

The 200-mile stretch of trail to Dawson City is the longest between official race checkpoints. Sass’s team overtook Hugh Neff’s when he blew through Pelly Crossing early Monday morning. Sass says he has been looking over his shoulder ever since, especially when overflow slowed his team just outside of Dawson.

Yukon Quest trail puts sleds to the test

Feb 9, 2015
Emily Schwing / KUAC

  Pelly Crossing, YK - On the Yukon Quest Trail, there are a few things mushers have to be especially picky about including a sturdy sled.  Jumble ice near McCabe Creek, half way to Pelly Crossing, is testing sled engineering this year.

When he’s not running dogs, musher Cody Strathe builds dog sleds for a living. “I built the same sled I built for about ten people this year, but it’s a nice sled and it was originally my design for myself,” he said.

 

Credit Emily Schwing / KUAC

  McCabe Creek, YK - Jumble ice at a place called Yukon Crossing on the Yukon River near McCabe Creek is challenging Yukon Quest mushers.  When he arrived in the dog drop and hospitality stop, Ray Redington Junior was upbeat but told a race judge he had no intentions of “doing that again.”

For Eureka musher Brent Sass, it was business as usual. Before he left Carmacks, Sass said he wasn’t worried about a rough trail. "Jumble ice is jumble ice, it’s part of the Yukon Quest and this is my 8th Quest and we’re pretty used to that,” said Sass.

Julien Schroder / Yukon Quest

Carmacks, YK - Yukon Quest mushers continue to battle subzero temperatures, but the race is heating up as teams complete the first of four mandatory layovers.  Mushers are trying to decide if they should rest their dogs early or keep moving and try to claim an early lead.

Perhaps it was no surprise Tok musher Hugh Neff arrived in Carmacks ahead of his competitors. In recent years, Neff has pushed his team early. “I just like to be out on the trail by myself, I don’t want to be around hoard of other people,” said Neff.

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