Former champs regain titles at Whitewater Rodeo

Two former national team paddlers, a Paralympic medalist and plenty of past winners hit the water for the annual event hosted by the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club by the Rotary Centennial Bridge in Whitehorse.

Waves were big and competition steep at the Whitewater Rodeo on Wednesday.

Two former national team paddlers, a Paralympic medalist and plenty of past winners hit the water for the annual event hosted by the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club by the Rotary Centennial Bridge in Whitehorse. As usual, Yukon Energy helped out by letting more water through its dam to boost the waves for the competition on the Yukon River.

“It was great. It was super well organized, it was great to see everybody out, I had a lot of fun,” said Whitehorse’s Kevin Daffe. “I don’t have a lot of time to boat for fun, so it was great to have everybody out and paddle with my friends.

“I was surprised by the results, but it happened.”

A first place finish in the advanced freestyle kayak division shouldn’t be too surprising to Daffe. Not only has he won the division numerous times before, Daffe represented Canada at the junior world championships in 1999.

Daffe took first ahead of 2013 champ Olivier Roy-Jauvin in second. Defending champ Joel Brennan, who paddled for Canada at the 2011 junior worlds, tied Brendan Zrum for third.

Daffe last won the advanced title in 2012.

“My first ride I washed out and came back early and threw my paddle away, so I think that was a good crowd-pleaser,” said the 35-year-old. “In my last ride I stayed in the hole for a full 30 seconds, which is harder than it looks. I think I was able to rack up points that way.”

Daffe took two titles on Wednesday. He traded his stubby freestyle kayak for a sleeker model and produced the fastest time on the slalom course.

“The Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club has slalom boats now, which for a bunch of us was our first time in them,” said Daffe. “It was really fast, really fun. I think you’ll see the sport progress a bit.”

Four divisions saw former champs regain crowns.

Dean Bennett reclaimed his 2013 title in the intermediate freestyle kayak.

Trevor Braun took first in the freestyle canoe division, which he won in 1997 and 1999.

Luanda Pronovost, 12, topped the boogie board division, which was added to the event in 2010. She won the division in 2014 and placed second last year.

“It was fun. I finally stood up on my board,” said Pronovost. “I came once this summer (to practice), that’s it. I used to come a lot, but I don’t anymore.”

Pronovost was also in the winning boat in the raft-flip race, which requires crews to flip their raft before crossing the finish line. She was joined in the raft by her father Marc, Adam Robinson, Andrew Crist and Dave Swinson.

Though he didn’t place in the advanced freestyle kayak division, just being there was a treat for Terrace, B.C.’s Caleb Brousseau, who won bronze in para-alpine skiing at the 2014 Paralympic Games.

Brousseau, who lived in Haines Junction about 15 years ago, was in town to visit friends.

“It’s kind of nostalgic for me to come back and check it all out again,” said Brousseau. “It turned out it worked out with when the event was happening.

“It was my first time in the Whitewater Rodeo — I’ve been wanting to do it for years.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Results

Boogie board

1st Luanda Pronovost

2nd Hayley Taylor

3rd Logan Kruse

3rd Victor Thib

Beginner freestyle kayak

1st Logan Kruse

2nd Luanda Pronovost

Intermediate freestyle kayak

1st Dean Bennett

2nd Jeff Cousins

3rd Hunter Vincent

Advanced freestyle kayak

1st Kevin Daffe

2nd Olivier Roy-Jauvin

3rd Joel Brennan

3rd Brendan Zrum

Freestyle canoe

1st Trevor Braun

2nd Hunter Vincent

3rd Daniel Jalwoski

Slalom kayak

1st Kevin Daffe

2nd Olivier Roy-Jauvin

3rd Brendan Zrum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 case confirmed in rural Yukon community

An exposure notification has been issued for Andrea’s Restaurant in Watson Lake

Food trucks gather on Steele Street between Front and Second for the annual Street Eats Festival in Whitehorse on August 12, 2019. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)
May 1 could mark the start of the 2021 food truck season

Lottery for downtown sites set for April 28

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 16, 2021.… Continue reading

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is taking on the first all-woman expedition to Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team among mountaineers heading to Kluane National Park

One team will be exploring Mt. Logan while a second all-woman team aims for Mt. Lucania summit

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Most Read