Danny Melville founder of the Jamaica Dogsled Team says that his lead musher will train with former Yukon Quest champion Hans Gatt in the hopes of qualifying for the 2009 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race—billed as the toughest sled dog race in the world. “Two of our mushers will train in Jamaica and Minnesota and our head musher Devon Anderson will train here with Hans. With races scheduled throughout the season in the US, Canada and the training and qualifying races to take place here in the North, we are thrilled to have the expertise of a champion like Hans to help us build a team and the skills of our mushers,” says owner Danny Melville.
“This is not just a promotional move, we take mushing seriously and it has become part of our tourism offering in Jamaica.”
Hans Gatt outlined the plan to train Devon and prepare him and his team to run both a 200 and 300 mile qualifier in order to be allowed to enter in the Yukon Quest in 2009. “I am looking forward to working with Devon and have visited the Jamaica Dogsled Team in Ocho Rios. Now I need to help them prepare not only for a race of this distance but also the wilderness and elements that have to be faced when running the Yukon Quest,” stated Gatt. “Dog care, equipment and preparation are key.”
Last year Anderson visited the Yukon and followed the Yukon Quest through the Yukon portion. He also had the opportunity to mush on legendary Lake Laberge. Anderson is operations manager for both of Melville’s tourism ventures and both have had a chance to meet and tour a number of the Yukon’s wilderness tourism operators businesses. “I look forward to getting up there and beginning my training with Hans and the team,” said Anderson from Ocho Rios. “Many people ask me how I found the cold—and I have to say it was a little shocking but the beauty of the region is amazing and to train with a three time champion of the Yukon Quest is a chance in a lifetime!”
Sponsored by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville, the Jamaica Dogsled Team is the newest addition to the Chukka Caribbean Adventures family, just one of the many creative ideas of founder and CEO Danny Melville. Formed out of a motley crew of mixed breed dogs found on the street or through the Jamaican Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (JSPCA), team membership means a new and better life of care and meaning for the team dogs. Anderson, along with the Jamaican sled dogs, is featured in Palm Pictures’ documentary feature “Sun Dogs” and their training continues for the unique “Jamaica Dogsled Team Experience” and “Dogsled Encounter” offered at Chukka Cove Farm, Ocho Rios. A portion of proceeds from all tours goes to the JSPCA.
For more information about Devon Anderson and the Jamaica Dogsled Team visit http://www.jamaicadogsled.com . To learn more about Chukka Caribbean Adventures visit http://www.chukkacaribbean.com ; the Yukon Quest visit http://www.yukonquest.com and Hans Gatt http://www.gattsled.com .
This year Chukka Caribbean Adventures has been nominated for the World Travel Awards
in the World’s Leading Nature Adventure Excursion Operator category.