The 2009 starting line of the Alcan 200. (Alcan 200 website)

The 2009 starting line of the Alcan 200. (Alcan 200 website)

The 47th annual Alcan 200 Snowmachine rally roars down the Haines Highway this weekend. The road race kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, starting at the border.

“The Yukon government, we applied for a permit and they closed the road from Canadian customs to Dezadeash,” said organizer Kathi Lapp with the Chilkat Snowburners. “And the riders race from that point to Dezadeash. They have two mandatory gas pump stops on the way up and then they turn around and then finish above customs.”

Lapp doesn’t know how many competitors will take part, because most of them register Friday night at the Fogcutter Bar Calcutta Auction. She says in recent years there’s been around 25 or 30 riders. Some come from the Yukon or other areas of Alaska like Fairbanks. But Lapp says there are more Haines people getting involved recently, especially younger snowmachiners.

“People have come for years and years and they always enjoy it,” she said. “And it’s a challenge because the road conditions, the weather. And now some of the younger people are starting to get involved and they also like it. It’s important. It’s kind of part of our history.”

Lapp says the weather conditions for the weekend are looking ‘pretty good.’ She says there will likely be some fresh snow on the road.

The more than 150-mile race starts Saturday morning. The highway will be closed from 42 Mile to Dezadeash Lake from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winners will be announced at a banquet at the American Legion 6: 30 p.m. Saturday.