11 March 2015

Iditarod Update: Musher Disqualified

After winning the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest, Brent Sass was considered a contender by many to win the forty-third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

However, the Eureka musher’s dream of a first Iditarod victory evaporated soon after his arrival at the third checkpoint after Fairbanks — all because he brought along something to listen to music on the trail, Iditarod.com reporter Sebastian Schnuelle first reported.

While the device is plainly described as “capable of two-way communication” in the early report, the 35-year-old fan favorite told Alaska Public Media the problem was an iPod Touch.

“I had zero intent in using it for WiFi connection in checkpoints. I was just completely clueless,” Sass told Alaska Public Media’s Emily Schwing in a recorded interview.

Yep; that's against the rules. While a lot of technological advances have been made in canine nutrition and sled construction, the racers are not supposed to have any idea of where their competitors are. They can see the standings when they reach a checkpoint, but along the trail? That's a no-no.

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