FAIRBANKS, AK-This year's Yukon 1000 definitely exemplified what's regarded as the world's toughest riverboat race. Sometimes it takes a little luck to overcome tough obstacles and for Tony Peter the third time was the charm.
Peter, captain of the Gwich'in Warriors boat, along with navigator Prestley Peter and Engineer Earl Mahler from Fort Yukon, won the Yukon 1000 rolling into Pikes Landing Sunday afternoon finishing in 15 hours and 23 seconds. It's Peter's first win in three races.
Bi-Bones Express came in second at 17 hours 23 minutes and 15 seconds. The Express crew was Captain Tom Kriska, navigator Sherri Kriska and engineer Vern Stickman. Rookie Elijah Mahler and his Empty Pockets crew finished third in 25 hours 14 minutes and 8 seconds.
The rest of the field was decimated with hardships. Defending champion Tyler Huntington broke down near Tanana along with a number of boats that scratched because of mechanical problems. AJ Dick scratched because of a hand injury.
For Peter and the winning crew it was about finishing in one piece.
"Last year my lower housing fell off right there so it's good to come in with my lower housing this year so pretty nice, " Peter said. "I'm pretty happy. It was a smooth ride, never had no problems and really enjoyed it."
"We had a lot more parts and stuff we we're more prepared because last year was out first year and we really didn't know what we we're getting into. So I'd figured this year we knew what we needed now," Mahler said.
"I told them if we stay this consistent on the turns and we had only 54 miles per hour, 48, 49 but we just kept it up all the way back and I guess we got here second," Tom Kriska said.