Kuskokwim, Nenana Ice Classics finish days apart
The 2016 Kuskokwim Ice Classic (KIC) officially ended at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to event officials. The tripod on the 2016 Nenana Ice Classic (NIC) fell at 3:39 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Saturday, according to NIC spokeswoman Cherrie Forness.
Two Bethel residents had tickets closest to the winning KIC time — Olinka Peterson and Evon Waska, Sr. They both guessed 11:25 p.m. and will split the $10,000 pot. The winners of the NIC will split a $300,000 pot. Forness said it could take weeks to determine how many winners there are for the NIC.
“This was an unusual year for the Ice Classic,” officials said on the website. “For one, this marks the earliest breakup in recorded history. The earliest recorded breakup prior to this year was April 24, 1940.”
Officials said there were more than 10,000 guesses, a record-breaking amount. Another noteworthy occurrence was the use of a tripod from a previous year. This year’s tripod was recovered after last year’s KIC by Eric Whitney, who constructed the tripod based on Lower Kuskokwim School District STEM students’ design.
“Eric kayaked to the tripod and secured it for a later recovery after the ice cleared the river,” officials said.
The NIC ended shortly before 4 p.m., although the tripod moved out of the view of the live web camera before that. The winners of the Ice Classic will split a $300,000 pot.
Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated the official end time of the Nenana Ice Classic was 3:40 p.m. This has been amended.