Doyon Donates Life Jackets and Provides Safety Reminder
Doyon, Limited is proud to be a major sponsor of the annual Yukon 800 speedboat race, organized by the Fairbanks Outboard Association. This year Doyon also funded 60 brand new life jackets for the teams that compete in the race.
“When growing up, I remember Doyon had donated before and there are still life jackets from then that are around. There has always been a unique relationship and you will not only see these life jackets during the race, but you will see them throughout the years with our families. This keeps the interest for younger generations coming up. The life jackets really help out,” said Kyle Malamute, Fairbanks Outboard Association board secretary.
“Good to have the life coats in case we run into problems, like flipping,” said Tom Kriska, president of the Fairbanks Outboard Association. “In order to race, every racer is required by the U.S. Coast Guard to wear one. The donation from Doyon really helps out the whole race. People like to see the name, as well as for safety purposes. The life jackets are used year after year.”
The Yukon 800 is a two-day, high-speed riverboat race that runs through the Yukon, Chena and Tanana Rivers. Praised as the longest, roughest and toughest speedboat race in the world, it truly is “survival of the fittest.” Competitors build 24-foot boats from scratch with various material such as Sitka spruce and plywood, then top it off with a 50-horsepower engine capable of reaching speeds up to 70 mph. The 800-mile race often consists of harsh and unpredictable weather, large trees and debris in the water, and rough currents making the race challenging even for experienced racers.
The race is a summer highlight for the Alaskans who have grown up around the Interior rivers. From early spring to late fall, competitors perfect the engineering of their boats, navigate river routes and race up to six times each summer. It can become an investment of time and focus to keep out of trouble and engage in a fun community event.
“People help, no matter who they are and the Natives who get into it. It’s a good thing for a lot of people and it takes a lot of time to prepare. It keeps their minds off drugs and alcohol and it really help our people a lot. Keeps our young people busy. Doyon and Ruby Marine (previously Inland Barge) helps to keep the race going year after year. For myself, I have been a non-user since I was 23 years old and it inspired me to get involved with the outboard association,” Kriska said.
For more information on the race, visit www.yukon800.com.
Life Jacket Safety Tips
- Check the label. It will tell you:
- If the jacket is Coast Guard approved
- The size of the jacket
- How the jacket can be used
2) Check for damage. Make sure there are no broken parts, mold, or rips in the fabric.
3) Fasten up. Fasten all zippers, buckles and straps. Adjust straps to fit snugly.
4) Check for proper fit. Lift the shoulders of the life jacket, and make sure it does not slip above your chin. It should feel snug, but comfortable.
5) WEAR IT. A life jacket only works if it is worn! There is no excuse not to wear a life jacket on the water.