Yukon Quest update: Sass first out of Dawson City

As his competitors waited to hit the trail, Eureka's Brent Sass left Dawson City at 3:01 p.m. (PST) on Wednesday with a big head start on the second half of the Yukon Quest.

Sass was the first musher to complete the mandatory 24-hour layover in Dawson City, were he arrived Tuesday more than six hours ahead of two-time defending champion Allen Moore. Moore was the first to give chase Wednesday night, leaving Dawson at 9:18 p.m. local time Tuesday, with Hugh Neff scheduled to hit the trail just before midnight.

If Sass holds onto his lead and is the first to reach the finish line in Fairbanks, he'll claim his first Quest victory as well as four ounces of gold awarded to the first musher into Dawson. He also reached the midway point first in last year's race, but didn't claim the gold after being forced to scratch shortly before the finish in Whitehorse. The race alternates between Whitehorse-to-Fairbanks and Fairbanks-to-Whitehorse routes each year.

As of Wednesday evening, nine mushers had reached Dawson City. They were (in order of arrival) Sass, Moore, Neff, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Ray Redington Jr., Ed Hopkins, Cody Strathe, Normand Casavant and Damon Tedford. Another 12 remained on the trail from Pelly Crossing to Dawson.

For more information and up-to-date standings, visit