This photo by Kolin Darby Smith shows Schacle and George of team #6 lending a hand to team #17 Gueco and VanMeter
**Update #1**Teams are already swapping positions as the race along the coast to Unalakleet. It appears Team #16 is having trouble and are now quite a ways behind the #41 and #8. We are waiting on any news as to why Team #16 has slowed. Rebecca Charles had this report on Team #28: "Word is Team 28 had a high speed 'get off' also and have bent handle bars, but will try to make it to UNK for repairs. That must be where their pilot is. The Iron Dog Oracle makes this observation: "Looks like they (Team #8) are about 8 minutes ahead of Team 41 as they left Koyuk. Team 41 has made up over 20 minutes on the leaders and we are just getting started. Koyuk to Shaktoolik will be the real test to see if Davis/Simon can reel in Aklestad/Johnson. Great racing for sure." Also Team #4 has scratched back in Nome. It seems that they got 15-20 miles from Nome and Dan Thibault had a bad crash resulting in a broken A-arm. Hopefully no broken Real-arm! :) With the scratch of Team#4 that leaves 20 remaining teams of the original 35. ** Just in: Sounds like Nick Olstad had a mishap so they are limping along towards Koyuk in need of an A-arm and a shock. And Team #4 that just scratched is sending them parts. They will probably take their 10 hour layover in Koyuk. And it doesn't help that Nick also injured his shoulder.** And more from the Oracle: "Team 16 crashed. Nicks sled is damaged. Both a-arms and a shock. They are towing to Koyuk now to make repairs." And also this about Team #28: "Broken handle bars and damaged steering post. They are going to limp to Unalakleet for repairs. Lots of nasty crashes today. The visibility is horrible with the storm on the coast. So far today 3 teams have knocked themselves out of contention by crashing. " Kolin Darby Smith took this video of Team #8 leaving Nome this morning. [video width="400" height="224" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/16979871_390392668001283_6553657624502468608_n.mp4"][/video]
**Update #2**Many many wrecks and scratches this morning! Once it is daylight and snowing and blowing it is hard to see any definition in the terrain. So more than likely guys are just going along and are suddenly airborne by a wind drift or slam into a piece of ice or drift wood. It is much easier to make time at night when the headlights are able to create definition and shadows. Team #7 and Team #4 have scratched today and numerous other teams have damaged sleds and are limping them to the next checkpoint. Team # 20 of Palin and Quam are headed back to Nome. Brad of Team #6 hit the same big snow drift that took out several other teams. Here they are in Nome assessing the damage. New windshield, hood, side panels, etc and they are back on the trail. Jeff Erickson: "Team #8 flew (literally) in (Unalakleet)...and out. The race is on...they weren't messing around." They checked out of UNK South 15 minutes ahead of Team #41 so it is some intense racing up front!
** Update #3**The Team #8 of Aklestad/Johnson on their Skidoos has arrived back onto the Yukon River exactly 14 minutes in front of Davis/Simons riding Arctic Cats so this is shaping up to be a good race out front. Both teams are taking a 10 hour layover in Kaltag. So much has changed today. The flat white light and blowing snow has definitely made for some very poor visibility resulted in quite a few nasty 'get offs' (aka 'crashes'). Lots of teams scratching today. Heard Palin has suspension trouble and is back in Nome. Palin was intending to bring parts to repair Olstad's sled since the weather is preventing planes from flying to Koyuk. But he had his own troubles and ended up back in Nome. But it sounds like between the resourcefulness on the Iron Dog family and the village folks they found the parts needed for Team #16 and they are on the trail currently checked out of Shaktoolik. This video by Harley Huntington of Nick Olstad coming in to Koyuk is pretty self explanatory of their slow times. He rode that machine for over 60 miles like that! [video width="224" height="400" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/16969104_113516475839537_6076038328971427840_n.mp4"][/video] Here are the current stats of how it stands for the top ten teams. You need to keep in mind that the times the teams were released in Nome are not exactly according to the times they arrived. It can lead to some deceptive positioning. It's all about course time now. So Minnick and Olstad are actually ahead of some of the teams they are currently "behind". Should I say that again? :) And Team #17 of Gueco and VanMeter are not as close to the top 2 teams as it seems, but they are also now in Kaltag taking a 10 hour LO. At this point we have 18 teams left in the race....half the field is gone. Such as it is in the longest, toughest snowmachine race in the world. This footage from Rebecca Charles of Team #6 leaving Nome gives you a glimpse of the 'lovely' weather and lousy visibility the racers encountered. [video width="222" height="400" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/16926607_108444156317951_2502040199081492480_n.mp4"][/video]
Thanks for the support, Michelle!
I love your blog! You have the most informative and well written coverage on the Iron Dog. I have been sharing your daily updates on my Facebook Page. Thank you so much!!!
Thanks Ken! This is definitely a team effort to put these together and we appreciate you taking the time to read these updates. —Kyle
Fantastic, Cindi! I’m glad you found us as well! —Kyle
Kyle,you have the BEST updates on the Iron Dog. Have been watching for years. Thanks.
Keep up the good work team#28
Thank you-I am so happy I found your page…much appreciated and holy cow!! Nick and Todd have had a rough time and are hanging in there. Good thoughts to everyone that they stay safe; as always Iron Doggers helping Iron Doggers!! Very nice job Mr. Palin and everyone else who always help each other out whether in first place or out. I enjoy your commentary…Cindi Heal-Harsh (John Faeo’s sister in law and the Faeo boys Auntie :))