Whitehorse paddler prevails on Canada’s toughest slalom course

Whitehorse's Pelly Vincent-Braun faced tough whitewater and fierce competition in Ontario last weekend.

Whitehorse’s Pelly Vincent-Braun faced tough whitewater and fierce competition in Ontario last weekend.

The 15-year-old took on some members of Canada’s national senior team in whitewater slalom at the Minden Hill Open in Minden, Ont.

Vincent-Braun sat in seventh after two runs on Saturday, missing a pair of gates on one run.

In Sunday’s final, he made all the gates and placed sixth overall and second for juniors out of nine paddlers.

“I pulled it off on the last run, which I’m pretty happy about because my first few I wasn’t completely happy with,” said Vincent-Braun. “I’m glad I figured it out on the last run.”

“I was paddling with some of the best in Canada, which was pretty neat,” he added. “I was watching them and trying to learn from their technique.”

The course at Minden Hill is a tough one, says coach and father Trevor Braun. There are 19 gates that paddlers must negotiate without touching, and they don’t see the layout of the course until the competition.

“In Minden he did really, really well because it’s the hardest course in Canada for slalom,” said Braun. “And it’s quite pushy whitewater … its speed and it’s continuous, one feature after another.

“When they train they are on the river, but then they close the course and they rearrange all the gates, and then they have to race on those new gates. So it’s extremely challenging because they don’t get a practice run.”

Just days before Minden Hill, Vincent-Braun competed at the Montreal Eau Vive in whitewater freestyle on the Lachine Rapids. Vincent-Braun took first as the only C1 paddler in his converted kayak, with a canoe paddle in the kneeling position.

Vincent-Braun and fellow Whitehorse paddler Mael Pronovost are currently at the Whitewater National Championships underway at the Madawaska Kanu Center in Barry’s Bay, Ont.

It is Pronovost’s first appearance at the nationals and he is the first Yukoner to compete in the slalom kayak event, said Braun.

“I’m feeling pretty good about the nationals,” said Vincent-Braun. “For the freestyle, because it’s going to be on waves, instead of a (stationary wave) like we have in Whitehorse, I haven’t really figured out how to do it on a wave yet, so it’s kind of a new thing for me.”

Vincent-Braun is hoping to land a spot on Canada’s Junior National Slalom Team which will take him to the junior worlds championships in Brazil next spring. He will remain in Ontario after nationals for a Canada Cup freestyle competition with hopes of also making Canada’s national freestyle team.

Vincent-Braun captured eight medals at the 2013 Canadian National Whitewater Championships including gold in the C2 classic and sprint with Saskatchewan’s Ben Lapointe.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read