Whitehorse paddlers race to national titles

Pelly Vincent-Braun, Mael Pronovost and Luanda Pronovost paddled to gold at the 2016 Canoe Kayak Whitewater Championships in Jonquiere, Que., over the last week.

Whitehorse is now home to three national whitewater champions.

Pelly Vincent-Braun, Mael Pronovost and Luanda Pronovost paddled to gold at the 2016 Canoe Kayak Whitewater Championships in Jonquiere, Que., over the last week.

The three paddlers faced fast competition and a challenging river — the Riviere aux Sables — that tested the best around at the world championship in 1979.

“I did 14 out of the 21 gates, I didn’t do all the gates, but I guess that’s fine because the river is one of the hardest slalom courses in Canada,” said Luanda.

“The river was definitely challenging because it was Class 3-plus and I didn’t train much this summer. But I had five days of training before the race and that helped a lot.”

Luanda captured the first national title for the small three-paddler Yukon team in Quebec.

The 12-year-old won gold in K-1 (solo kayak) in a downriver sprint for cadet division women last week. She then took silver in K-1 slalom in the same division Saturday.

“It’s pretty cool. It was a really fun week and I’m proud,” said Luanda. “Last year I only did the downriver sprints. This was the first year of me doing the actually big (slalom) competitions.”

Mael and Vincent-Braun teamed up for gold, just like they did last year at nationals.

They started out with bronze in the in downriver sprint last week and then sped to gold in the slalom — both for junior men C-2 (tandem canoe).

Vincent-Braun, who raced for Canada at the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships last month in Poland, also claimed silver in the C-1 downriver sprint, gold in the C-1 downriver classic last week, and silver in C-1 slalom over the weekend.

Mael — Luanda’s older brother — paddled in both kayak and canoe at nationals. He posted ninth in both downriver events (in fields of 18 and 21 paddlers) and 11th out of 22 in slalom over the weekend.

He also surprised himself with fifth in the downriver sprint and fourth in the slalom C-1 events for junior men.

“It was pretty challenging for a slalom course, especially the last section of it — it was a quick moving-water drop,” said Mael.

“I was really surprised since I did so good in C-1 since it was my first year ever being in one. It was like my fifth time ever sitting in one.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read