The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Tony Gorman
For the Star 

Mayor's Cup wet and wild this year

200 mile event tests endurance of man and machine


Tony Gorman photo

Mayor Dave Cobb prepares to drop the flag Saturday, setting racers off in a cloud of snow, beginning the 17th annual Mayor's Cup snowmachine race.

Sloppy conditions didn't stop 35 racers from competing in this year's Mayor's Cup, a 200-mile endurance snowmachine race. Members of the Valdez Snowmachine Club and crews from the city of Valdez spent 18 hours over the last two weeks building snow bridges over creeks that are running due to the warm weather and lack of snow.

On Saturday, several racers from various classes emerged victorious in the 17th annual event. In the 10-man Pro Class, Team CC Ski-Doo went 1-2 in the race on the Ski-Doo XRS. Tyler Akelstad of Palmer won the pro-class race with a time of 3 hours and 34 minutes. Tyson Johnson of Eagle River 22 seconds behind Akelstad while Willow's Andy Goecke, riding a Polaris Indy, finished third with a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes. Valdez racer Matt Smelcer, who was competing in his first Mayor's Cup, was forced to scratch the race in his fifth lap after he suffered an injury to his upper left arm.

Tony Gorman photo

John Wood of North Pole during one of seven laps he endured during the seven-lap semi-pro leg of the 2014 Mayor's Cup Snowmachine race in Valdez. Wood took second place in his class with a time of three hours, 17 minutes and 55 seconds.

Zachary Weisz of Wasilla, on a Polaris IQR, needed 3 hours and 20 minutes to beat 15 other racers in the Semi-Pro Class. North Pole racer John Wood finished second with a time of 3 hours and 22 minutes. Josh Norum of Fairbanks finished third with a time of 3 hours and 25 minutes on an Arctic Cat ZR 600. Hometown racer Ken Lares overcame a bad start in the first lap to finish ninth.

In the Veterans Class, Wasilla Iron Dogger Andy George won the four-man race with a time of 1 hour and 52 minutes on a Ski-Doo XRS. Rick Phillips of Fairbanks and his Arctic Cat came in second with a time of 2 hours and 4 minutes. Scott Benda of Valdez finished third in his tenth Mayor's Cup with a time of 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Anchorage's Jamie Hollis raced to a time of 2 hours and 7 minutes on a Ski-Doo XRS to take the top spot in the Women's Division. She beat out fellow Anchorage racer Rachel Kidwell, who finished with a time of 2 hours and 14 minutes on a Polaris Pro-R Switchback. Willow's Shana Barber placed third with a time of 2 hours and 25 minutes.

In the first-ever Vintage Class race, George Ingebo of Valdez beat Wasilla's Ron Soule with a time of 1 hour and 23 minutes on a 1979 Polaris Centurion 500.


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